It was 9:05 a.m. on Wednesday, July 12, 2006 when the Lebanese Resistance movement carried out a cross-border raid in which Hezbollah fighters killed three Israeli soldiers, injured two and captured other two near Ayta Al-Shaab border town.
The border attack was orchestrated and overseen by senior Hezbollah commander Hajj Imad Mughniyeh. It was dubbed Operation Truthful Promise, referring to a promise made by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah to free all Lebanese prisoners at Israeli jails.
Few minutes after the news was circulated, jubilant Lebanese in southern towns and in Beirut’s southern suburb (Dahiyeh) took to streets to celebrate the Operation Truthful Promise, which was aimed at releasing Lebanese prisoners at Israeli jails through a swap deal with the occupation regime.
At 11:00 a.m., the Israeli occupation started its aggression on Lebanon, by launching ground, air and sea attacks on several areas across the southern towns. The Israeli strikes targeted numerous roads and bridges linking the southern towns with each other, as well as with the Lebanese capital, Beirut.
The Israeli attacks killed three Lebanese and injured at least 20 others, prompting the Resistance to retaliate by firing Katyusha rockets at Israeli settlements in the occupied territories.
At 3:00 p.m., Sayyed Nasrallah held a press conference at Al-Hassanein Mosque in Dahiyeh, in which he clarified the nature of the operation, noting that the aim of it was to release the Lebanese prisoners. During the conference, Sayyed Nasrallah said the Resistance was ready for de-escalation, but warned of ‘surprises’ in case the Israeli enemy chose the escalation.
“Captured (Israeli) soldiers won’t return but through one way: indirect talks, full stop,” Sayyed Nasrallah said at the conference.
The Israeli occupation went ahead with the aggression, with attacks expanding to hit more areas in south Lebanon during the afternoon of the day. Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert vowed a “very painful and far-reaching response.”
Former Lebanese President Emile Lahoud stressed that the Israeli threats won’t intimidate Lebanese people.
Lebanese government convened late Wednesday (July 12), issuing a statement announcing that the government didn’t know previously about the operation, and condemning the Israeli aggression which targeted Lebanese civilians and vital installations across the country.
Source: Al-Manar English Website