2005 Hezbollah cross-border raid
|2005 Hezbollah cross-border raid|
|Part of the 2000–2006 Shebaa Farms conflict|
|Commanders and leaders|
|David Markovitch||Hassan Nasrallah|
|One Paratrooper unit||One Special Force unit|
|Casualties and losses|
In 2000, Hezbollah mounted a successful cross-border raid. Three Israeli soldiers: Adi Avitan, Benyamin Avraham, and Omar Sawaid were killed, and their bodies were captured. Israel released 30 Lebanese and Arab prisoners, 435 Palestinian prisoners, and the bodies of 59 Hezbollah militants and Lebanese civilians in exchange for the remains of the three soldiers, and kidnapped Israeli businessman Elchanan Tenenbaum. Following the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Shebaa farms security zone in Southern Lebanon that same year, Hezbollah fighters repeatedly infiltrated into Israeli territory to abduct IDF soldiers, and exchange them for Hezbollah and Palestinian prisoners being held in Israel. In June 2005, a unit of the Israeli Paratroopers Brigade patrolling the border identified three Lebanese it identified as members of Hezbollah's "Special Force", and opened fire, killing one. Hezbollah then mounted two more unsuccessful attacks against Israeli border patrols.
On 21 November 2005, Hezbollah sent in a team of its "Special Force" fighters using motorcycles and ATVs to either take prisoners or capture bodies. The militants attacked a military outpost in the Israeli part of the border village of Ghajar, manned by Israeli soldiers of the Paratroopers Brigade. The units marksman, 20-year-old Corporal David Markovitch, shot a Rocket-propelled grenade being carried by the Hezbollah militants, killing three, then shot and killed a fourth gunman. Corporal Markovitch and his family received a large amount of media attention in Israel following the incident. Israel responded with air and artillery strikes onto Hezbollah positions in Lebanon. Israeli forces also demolished numerous Hezbollah outposts on Lebanese half of Ghajar, and exchanged fire with Hezbollah fighters. Hezbollah, in turn, fired rockets and mortars onto Israeli towns and military positions.
In July 2006, Hezbollah fighters attacked two Israeli armored Humvees patrolling the border, killing five Israeli soldiers. Two of the bodies were captured. A further five Israeli soldiers were killed in a failed rescue attempt. Israel responded with air and artillery strikes, a naval and aerial blockade, and a ground invasion of Southern Lebanon, while Hezbollah responded by firing rockets into Israel, and engaged the Israelis in guerilla warfare from hardened positions. Israel eventually agreed to exchange six prisoners, and the bodies of about 200 Hezbollah and Palestinian militants, for the bodies of the two soldiers.
- Dudkevitch: "Paratrooper Sniper Becomes Hero" (Jerusalem Post Online Edition, 11/22/05)