On Wednesday, July 12, 2006, at approximately 9:00 a.m, the Hizbullah terror organization attacked a number of targets on the Israeli northern border.
In this attack two soldiers were abducted, three soldiers were killed and two were wounded. The soldiers killed are Sergeant-Major Class Eyal Benin, 22, Sergeant-Major Shani Turgeman , 24, and Staff-Sergeant Wassim Nazal, 27.
Throughout the day, Hizbullah terror organization fired Katyusha rockets and mortar shells at Israel's northern borders' communities and IDF posts.
In response, the IDF carried out over 100 aerial attacks in Lebanon, targeting mainly Hizbullah bases. A vehicle, in which two Hizbullah terrorists were traveling, was targeted in the evening. A number of bridges and roads in Lebanon were also attacked, in order to prevent Hezbollah from transferring the abducted soldiers.
Ground forces entered Lebanon in the area of the attack. During the operation, a large explosive device was detonated underneath an Israeli tank. Four soldiers manning the tank were hit in the explosion. IDF forces haven't managed to reach the tank yet, in spite of continuous attempts to do so, since all rescue forces sent for the tank have met heavy fire. Assessments indicate the four soldiers are dead. An IDF soldier, Sergeant Cohen Nimrod, was killed and two were wounded from the fire during the rescue attempts.
From press conference with GOC of IDF Northern Command, Major General Udi Adam:
Close to 9 am the Hizbullah terror organization executed an attack. An IDF reconnaissance activity, conducted by two Hummer jeeps, was attacked close to the fence between Israel and Lebanon, in the area between Shtula and Zerit. Anti-tank missiles and small arms were used in the attack. The terrorists infiltrated into Israeli territory, killed three IDF soldiers and kidnapped two soldiers into Lebanese territory. Simultaneously Katyusha rockets were fired at Israeli communities and IDF posts in the area. Five citizens were injured in the attack.
Following the operation, an IDF force went in, as part of an attempt to pursue the terrorists and rescue the kidnapped soldiers. During the rescue efforts, an IDF tank hit a powerful explosive hidden in the area. As a result, four additional soldiers were killed. At this time additional attempts are made to rescue the soldiers present in the tank at the time of the explosion.
The IDF response, said Major General Adam, was very harsh: Since the event the IDF responds with great strength, through the land, air, and the sea, and is preparing for a powerful response with all means available in order to protect the citizens of Israel and IDF soldiers from attacks emanating from Lebanese territory.
"At this time we are uncertain about the status of the kidnapped soldiers," admitted Major General Adam, but he promised that "we will do whatever we can to return our sons home."
Infiltration attempt into an IDF post is thwarted
A terrorist attempted to infiltrate into an IDF post in the western sector of the Israeli-Lebanese border. A force manning the post fired at the terrorist and killed him. Simultaneously, a number of rockets were fired from the western sector. No injuries were caused, and the citizens of the Lebanese border were instructed to go into their shelters.
In response the IDF attacked from the air targets of the Hizbullah terror organization in the western part of southern Lebanon. The IDF conducted artillery and tank fire on Hizbullah targets.
Israel Defense Forces holds the Lebanese government fully responsible for these attacks and demands it act immediately to ensure the safe return of the IDF soldiers being held in its territory.
Summary of IDF attacks on southern Lebanon
The IDF has attacked thus far from the ground, the sea, and the air, targets in southern Lebanon, among them three bridges on the Litani River, two bridges crossing the A-Zaharni River, and Hezbollah posts and headquarters along the sector.
Additional targets that were attacked during the day are Hizbullah headquarters northwest of Ya'atar, Hezbollah base in the Davin area, Hizbullah base north of A-Sultania, Hizbullah base in Ayata-Shav, two Hizbullah bases in near Tzrifa, two Hizbullah bases east of Abel A-Saki, and a Hizbullah terrorist vehicle. The vehicle was hit while exiting a Hizbullah post.
The IDF is preparing to act with full strength and determination using any means available in order to protect the citizens of Israel and IDF soldiers from Lebanese attacks. The Israel Defense Forces holds the Lebanese government fully responsible for these attacks and demands it act immediately to ensure the safe return of the IDF soldiers being held in its territory.