On July 12, Hezbollah fighters crossed the border separating Israel from Lebanon. They killed several Israeli soldiers and captured two others, spiriting them across the border into Lebanon. Those who want to believe the best about Israel will say that this single action started this summer’s war between Hezbollah and Israel.
But a closer look reveals that it is not that simple. After the border incursion by Hezbollah there was still time to negotiate for the return of the prisoners, something that Israel had done in the past (1996, 1998, 2004). Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah held a press conference shortly after his unit returned from its incursion into Israel to say he was ready to negotiate a prisoner exchange.