Declassified: An IDF Commando Force Operated Deep in Hizbullah Territory – Undetected – During the Second Lebanon War

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Amir Buchbut reports for Walla’s Hebrew site that Operation “Beach Boys,” deemed one of the Second Lebanon War’s bright spots, was recently declassified and many of its senior participants interviewed. The operation was undertaken by the IDF’s elite Maglan unit in response to the intensive rocket fire that Israel’s northern towns faced daily in July of 2006. It led to the destruction of 48 Hizbullah targets.

After a particularly deadly attack on a Haifa train depot that killed 8 people, senior Maglan officers determined that most of the rocket fire was originating from the Lebanese coast. Despite the rocket launchers’ positioning deep in enemy territory, the mission to destroy them was given the go-ahead.

With secrecy a top priority, a relatively small force was deployed, despite its limited combat ability in the event of its discovery. The Maglan force faced a last-minute change in the location of their rendezvous points, several near-misses with Hizbullah patrols, and the mental strain of being on high alert for days at a time. Many squads of Hizbullah fighters would pass the Maglan force, but never took notice of the tens of soldiers camouflaged directly in front of them.

The Maglan force reached its destination and covertly waited two days for the surrounding Hizbullah fighters to slip up and give away their positions. Eventually they did, and the ensuing IDF aircraft and artillery bombardment took Hizbullah by surprise. Hizbullah realized that the IDF had suddenly improved its abilities regarding target identification, but remained baffled as to how.

The operation was so successful that it was extended from 48 hours to 11 days, with the Maglan soldiers now having to deal with limited supplies as well. However, the mission concluded without a shot being fired by the Maglan force, and all of its soldiers were able to return to Israel, while rocket fire on Israel from the Lebanese coast was suppressed.
According to Captain (res.) A., the fact that the Maglan force was never discovered was an achievement of equal importance: “Our success was not only expressed by how much we shelled and harmed [the enemy], but also in that the area ceased to operate [against Israel]. The fact that we were not exposed was a great success.”

{Matzav.com Israel News Bureau}

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