Speaking at a conference in Tel Aviv on July 12, 2012 – former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert admitted that he waged 34-day war against Lebanon in 2006 – not to free the two Israeli soldiers captured by Hizbullah but to destroy Hizbullah as a resistance millitia. He also admitted that the Jewish army failed to defeat Hizbullah.
“The war had one objective which we did not achieve, and knew in advance that we couldn’t achieve, and it was spoken in cabinet meetings,” Olmert said.
The disgraced Gen. Dan Halutz, former chief of Israeli armed forces, was also present at the conference. In January 2012, Dan Halutz admitted during the Herzliya Conference on security that Iran does not pose an existential threat to Israel.
“Iran poses a serious threat, but not an existential one. The use of this terminology is misleading. If it is intended to encourage a strike on Iran, it’s a mistake. Force should be exerted only as a last resort. If a strike is carried out, it should not be led by Israel (but by the United States),” said Halutz.
In 2008, Hizbullah returned the bodies of the two Israeli soldiers, Ehud Goldwasser and First Sergeant Eldad Regev, captured in a fight – as part of a prisoner exchange. In exchange, Hezbollah got from Israel the incarcerated Palestine Liberation Front Samir Kuntar, four Hezbollah fighters captured during the 2006 war, and the bodies of about 200 other Lebanese and Palestinian abducted by the Israelis.
Roy Tov, an Israeli citizen in exile – posted an article on his website, entitled Israel admits War causes were Fabricated.
Shortly after (Israeli soldiers) their capture, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert described the event as an “act of war” by Lebanon. He didn’t mention the fact that Israel has continuously carried out similar acts in Lebanon ever since “Operation Litani” in 1978. He didn’t mention the fact that the Lebanese government wasn’t involved. Moreover, it couldn’t be involved because Israel had damaged the Lebanese government control over the southern parts of the country. Olmert said then that “Lebanon will bear the consequences of its actions” and that it will suffer a “very painful and far-reaching response.” IDF’s Chief of Staff Dan Halutz said “if the soldiers are not returned, we will turn Lebanon’s clock back 20 years” while the commander of Israel’s Northern Command Udi Adam added “this affair is between Israel and the state of Lebanon. Where to attack? Once it is inside Lebanon, everything is legitimate, not just southern Lebanon, not just the line of Hezbollah posts.” Yet, they knew the captured soldiers were already dead. The next day, Israeli destroyed Beirut’s international airport and began a brutal, systematic destruction of Lebanon. Israel’s Air Force flew more than 12,000 combat missions, its Navy fired over 2,500 shells, and its artillery fired over 100,000 shells. 400 Miles of roads and 73 bridges were destroyed. Roughly 150,000 houses, 350 schools and 2 hospitals were hit, as well as facility structures like water and sewage treatment plants, electrical facilities, fuel stations, commercial structures, and others.
Yet, this time Israel miscalculated. Israelis found themselves running south away from the bombings all the way down to the Jezreel Valley, the valley connecting Mount Carmel with the Jordan River. Jezreel is deep within the Israeli heartland, a place most Israelis consider equivalent to the US State of Kansas in geographical terms. The implications of this situation escaped international eyes. For the first time since the foundation of the State of Israel, a significant percentage of its population ran away from their homes because their government failed to protect them—actually was responsible for initiating the military operation that led to the disaster. Up to half million Israelis were displaced. The situation was so bad, that Israel agreed to a ceasefire provisioned by UNSC Resolution 1701, on August 14. Hezbollah and Israel both declared victory; the two captured soldiers—having unwittingly caused this massacre—remained in the hands of Hezbollah.