The Lebanese terror group Hezbollah said it will broadcast new footage showing the moments leading up to the 2006 cross-border raid into Israel, in which three soldiers were killed and two — Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev — were captured. The raid sparked the 34-day Second Lebanon War where thousands of rockets fell mainly in northern Israel.
The war claimed the lives of 165 Israelis, including 44 civilians. Over 1,100 Lebanese, including both Hezbollah fighters and civilians, were killed.
In a promo video released on the Hezbollah-affiliated al-Mayadeen TV station on Friday, the terror group said it prepared a three-part “documentary” on the reconnaissance preparations for the raid and the subsequent kidnapping. The first part of the “documentary” is set to air on Saturday.
The promo clip shows Hezbollah commandos training for the raid, which is said to have taken three months of planning. The training, according to al-Mayadeen, was under the watchful eye of Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyeh, who can be heard saying “someone just needs to fire at them.”
Mughniyeh was assassinated in Syria in 2008.
Al-Mayadeen said the new footage includes surveillance clips of the IDF vehicle in which Goldwasser and Regev were in at the time and an eyewitness account from an Israeli soldier who survived the raid.
Goldwasser and Regev’s remains were retrieved in a prisoner exchange deal with Hezbollah in 2008. Israel released five Lebanese nationals, including arch-terrorist Samir Kuntar, and the bodies of over 150 Hezbollah members.
The terror group promised to reveal new information on the deal in the third part of the series.
Israel’s Channel 2 TV said that some of the footage included in the promo was broadcast four years ago by al-Mayadeen, and picked up by Israeli media, including the part where Hezbollah militants open fire on the IDF vehicle and cross the border into Israeli territory. The clip ended right as the Hezbollah commandos reach the ruined vehicle.
The raid and the 34-day war that ensued were widely seen as security failures.
Israel recently marked the 10-year anniversary of the Second Lebanon War, with IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot saying that the conflict had dealt “a severe blow to the Hezbollah organization, reestablished Israeli deterrence,” and helped bring about “a sustained and stable quiet along the Lebanese border that is a boon to civilians on both sides of the border.”
In a letter to troops on the tenth anniversary of the war, Eisenkot, who served as the army’s chief of operations during the war, acknowledged the command failures of 2006, but said that they had driven the army to massively improve its capabilities, training and equipment, as well as emergency preparedness for the homefront in the event of massive missile barrages on Israel’s cities.
“We see the dramatic advances we’ve made in the years [since 2006]. The IDF of 2016 is prepared, trained and equipped… The regimen of training for IDF fighters has increased and improved. Steps were taken to improve the readiness and operational capabilities of the reserves,” he said earlier this month.
The threat from Lebanon has not abated, he wrote, but “I am certain and sure that if the order is given, we will be able to carry out the IDF’s mission — to protect the country, ensure its existence, and if necessary, win a war.”
The letter was published as part of a new website established by the IDF to commemorate the ten-year anniversary of that war.
The IDF’s website includes previously unseen footage and audio recordings of IDF battlefield communications, testimonies of commanders and soldiers, and a site commemorating those who fell in battle during the fighting.