‘I entirely understand the desire, and indeed need, for Israel to defend itself properly,’ Tony Blair said on 14 July. ‘As a sovereign nation, Israel has every right to defend itself,’ George W. Bush said on 16 July. By the time these statements were made, the IDF had bombed Beirut’s international airport, destroyed roads, bridges, power stations and petrol stations, and imposed an air and sea blockade. The Israeli army chief of staff, General Dan Halutz, had promised to ‘turn back the clock in Lebanon by twenty years’. All this in response, ostensibly, to the capture of two Israeli soldiers and the killing of eight others by Hizbullah militants on 12 July.
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