Shahrad Mezerji/Staff reporter
On July 12, 2006, Hezbollah’s paramilitary attacked Israel in order to release a few of their soldiers back from Israel’s prison , setting off a 34-day battle between Lebanon and Israel. 15 years later, Israel has moved forward with a gas drilling operation which lead to outrage from Lebanon.
The 34-day battle took place in northern Israel and the Golan Heights. The central conflict was between Hezbollah paramilitary forces and the Israeli military.
The paramilitary also attacked two armoured Israeli Humvees, patrolling the border village of Zar’it with explosives, killing three soldiers and capturing two others. An Israeli tank attempted to chase them, but missiles hit them, leading to four soldiers dying.
Israel’s military responded with air, naval, and ground attacks at Hezbollah targets across Lebanon. Hezbollah retaliated by launching rockets into northern Israel, many reaching as far south as the port city of Haifa. Both sides continued to trade rocket, missile, and artillery attacks, most of the damage done to civilian targets on both sides of the border.
According to Reuters, Israel and Hezbollah’s conflict killed 1,191–1,300 Lebanese people and 165 Israelis. It immensely damaged Lebanese civil infrastructure and displaced close to one million Lebanese and 300,000–500,000 Israelis.
On July 16, 2008, Israel and Hezbollah initiated a deal where Hezbollah exchanged the bodies of the two captured Israeli soldiers in return for one Lebanese prisoner, four Hezbollah militants, and the bodies of around 200 other Lebanese and Palestinian militants who were imprisoned in Israel. Allegedly the reason why Hezbollah started the conflict was to have a prisoner exchange
15 years later, there is a significant dispute between Israel and Lebanon, but it’s over oil this time.
Last week Haliburton, an Israeli company, announced that it had been awarded a contract in Israel’s Karish North oil fields; this sparked outrage from Lebanese ministers, who said that part of the oil field was under dispute.
Haliburton had been awarded “an integrated services contract to execute a three to five well drilling and completions campaign for Energean.”
According to Donna Rachel Edmunds’s article, The Lebanon minister reacted.
Mikati ordered the minister of foreign affairs to contact international authorities and prevent Haliburton from starting its operations.
Lebanon also called on the Security Council to ensure that the drilling isn’t located in undisputed places.
In the end, Israel’s Energy Ministry responded with “Israel is not drilling in the area in dispute, and the drilling that has been taking place for several years is happening under license for Karish and Karish North.”