March 29, 2011:
Another batch of Wikileaks diplomatic documents confirmed what many had long suspected, that the Lebanese government encouraged the Israelis to destroy Hezbollah during the 2006 war. That conflict was triggered by Hezbollah attacking an Israeli border patrol and kidnapping two soldiers. Israel, to Hezbollah's surprise, responded by bombing Hezbollah facilities in southern Lebanon and sending 30,000 troops across the border. The Lebanese government noted that Israeli bombs mainly fell on Hezbollah owned buildings and compounds. Secret discussions between Israeli and Lebanese officials revealed a fear, by the non-Shia Lebanese majority, that Iran-backed Hezbollah was a mutual threat, and had to be stopped, and Israel could do it. The Lebanese did not want to do it, not with memories of the 1975-90 civil war still fresh in the minds of many. Israel did what it could, and the Lebanese military stayed out of the way. While Hezbollah suffered a lot of damage, the Israelis were not ready for a major campaign in southern Lebanon, which is what it would have required to root out Hezbollah. Since 2006, Hezbollah has continued bullying the Lebanese government, forcing the majority of Lebanese to give up any hope of stopping Hezbollah from seizing more and more power in the country.