Monday, July 24, 2006

Kidnapped?...or captured inside Lebanon

India enews reported on July 12 2006 ...July 12... that Hezbollah announced they had captured two Israeli soldiers attempting to infiltrate the town of Aitaa al-Chaab inside the Lebanese border.

Evidently they were hoping to trade the Israeli soldiers for three Lebanese prisoners held in Israel.
"We are now counting on Hezbollah to strike a deal to get my brother and other prisoners released."

If this is true.......good grief.
Am I the only one who missed this?

Update : From AP
"A senior Hezbollah official said Tuesday the guerrillas did not expect Israel to react with an all-out offensive after the capture of two soldiers" ...
"The truth is — let me say this clearly — we didn't even expect (this) response ... that (Israel) would exploit this operation for this big war against us," said Komati.
He said Hezbollah had expected "the usual, limited response" from Israel after the two soldiers were seized by guerrillas on Israel's side of the border on July 12.
Komati said his group had anticipated negotiations to swap the Israeli soldiers for three Lebanese held in Israeli jails, with Germany acting as a mediator as it has in past prisoner exchanges."

Bold above mine.
Note that while the article says "on Israel's side of the border", this is not in quotes from Kamati.
And if you look at a map, Aitaa al-Chaab is definitely in Lebanon.
Either way, this provides some corroboration of the India News article, namely that the Israeli soldiers were captured with the intent of trading them for the three Lebanese also mentioned in the India News article.
And that Hezbollah only expected "the usual limited response".

Update#2, Tuesday : Joshua Frank at is now on this with more corroborating evidence, including an on-the-ground report dated July 15 that states Israel had not yet come back to Aitaa al-Chaab to pick up the Israeli soldiers' tank. He ends with this :

"Israel didn't need the truth of the matter to play out before it invaded Lebanon. As with the United States' illegitimate invasion of Iraq, Israel just needed the proper media cover to wage a war with no genuine moral impetus."

Update#3, Friday : Dave at Galloping Beaver puts it all together.


Anonymous said...

The first casualty of war. It's all pretext anyway. It wouldn't surprise me. There's also an established tradition of prisoner exchange over this outrageous destruction. Capture is the proper word here.

Dave said...

This is a new one to me. I'm going hunting for a little more info.

Anonymous said...

Way to go, girl.
I'm proud of you.

Anonymous said...

I think the difference can be explained as:

If the Israeli soldiers had been taken by official Lebanese troops in Lebanon, then it would be 'captured'.

If the soldiers are taken by Hezbollah, who are clearly NOT forces of the Lebanese government, then it is 'kidnapped'.

Hezbollah are private citizens and have no more right to detain and hold other people (without turning them over to the state) than you or I do.

Unless this is a backdoor argument to claim that Hezbollah are agents of the Lebanese government, which would give Israel legitimacy for their bombs; somewhere I don't think you want to go.

Alison said...

Deanna : I hadn't considered that.
Thank you.

I don't know enough about this subject to debate you on it.It does seem to me to pose some difficult legal problems, given that Hezbolla is part government with sitting members, part revolutionary army, and part social fabric.

My concern here was mainly that the official story suddenly changed in a way that obscured its roots.

Anonymous said...


Alison said...

Deanna : A further thought on that.
Here's what little I've figured out so far:

Nazrallah claims to have stated his intention "to government officials" to kidnap Israeli soldiers in order to do a prisoner exchange.

He claims that "these officials" didn't counsel him not to, so he took that to be one of those "green lights" that are going around lately.

The two Indian and Pakistani papers that covered this tell the same story about 6 Israelis killed and 2 taken prisoner along with their tank inside Lebanon "by Hezbollah forces".

From that point on, all mention of moving the prisoners, talking to media, or attempting to negotiate a prisoner exchange with the Israelis refer not to "Hezbollah" but to "the Lebanese police".

Of course I'm relying here on newspaper reports that I have no way of checking out myself, but if we suppose them to be accurate and Hezbollah captured soldiers inside Lebanon and handed them over to the Lebanese police, does this make a difference to the legality of the capture/kidnap?

Anonymous said...

I'm not really for a debate on it, I was just considering use of language. I too think it's telling that the story has changed.

Do you have links to the articles about the tank? I've been poking around, but haven't been able to find anything about that.


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