New Hezbollah footage purports to show 2006 strike on Israeli Navy ship

Al-Manar TV airs video it says shows preparations for deadly attack on INS Hanit during Second Lebanon War, an event which became a symbol of Israel’s overconfidence

The INS Hanit, file (Tsahi Ben-Ami /Flash90)
The INS Hanit, file (Tsahi Ben-Ami /Flash90)

Hezbollah’s al-Manar TV on Thursday night for the first time aired footage it said came from a missile strike on an Israeli Navy ship during the 2006 Second Lebanon War.

In a documentary aired to commemorate 13 years since the war, the TV station said it was revealing new details about the strike on the INS Hanit that killed four Israeli soldiers — one of the most significant, and in Israel, infamous, events of the 34-day conflict.

The footage showed reconnaissance footage of the Israeli warship taken from the Lebanese shore, preparations for the missile launch and the operations room that directed the strike.

It also showed nighttime footage of the blast as the missile hit the naval vessel.

The veracity of the footage could not be independently ascertained.

The strike on the Hanit on July 14 crippled the ship but did not destroy it. It was the first direct strike on an Israeli warship in decades and Hezbollah celebrated it as among its biggest victories of the war.

More than 1,100 Lebanese, including both Hezbollah fighters and civilians, and 165 Israelis, including 44 civilians, were killed in the conflict. In Israel the war was widely seen as a mishandled one that failed to achieve the objectives set by then-premier Ehud Olmert, including the destruction of Hezbollah.

The strike on the Hanit symbolized for many how overconfidence fed into that failure.

An investigation found that the missile, likely a Chinese-made C-802 anti-ship cruise missile, successfully hit its target because officials didn’t believe that Hezbollah had such sophisticated technology, and didn’t turn on anti-missile systems capable of defending against it.

The ship has since been repaired and is in active service. It is now equipped with Barak missile defense systems, as well as advanced missiles.

AFP contributed to this report.

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