The White House press release on the kidnapping of two Israeli, and possibly ethnic Druze soldiers in Lebanon holds Syria and Iran responsible for the incident. As this roundup of recent history by the Washington Post shows, the tensions in Lebanon are nothing new. What is remarkable about this incident is that tensions in Lebanon were presumably on the wane -- until now. The Lebanese government, which has been trying to remove foreign influences, including Syria and Israel, from its national life, has limited control over Hezbollah. This new incident threatens to drag Lebanon back into the line of fire. But perhaps the point was precisely to do that. Turn Lebanon into a cauldron once again.
The White House Press release hits all those notes, which I've emphasized in bold.
July 12, 2006 STATEMENT BY THE PRESS SECRETARY Condemnation of Hizballah Kidnapping of Two Israeli Soldiers
Today Hizballah terrorists operating from Lebanon kidnapped two Israeli soldiers and launched rocket attacks against civilian targets in Israel. The United States condemns in the strongest terms this unprovoked act of terrorism, which was timed to exacerbate already high tensions in the region and sow further violence. We also hold Syria and Iran, which have provided long-standing support for Hizballah, responsible for today's violence. We call for the immediate and unconditional release of the Israeli soldiers.
Hizballah's terrorist operations threaten Lebanon's security and are an affront to the sovereignty of the Lebanese Government. Hizballah's actions are not in the interest of the Lebanese people, whose welfare should not be held hostage to the interests of the Syrian and Iranian regimes. We reiterate the international community's insistence that all parties in the region fulfill their obligations under UN Security Council resolutions 1559 and 1680, and cease all support for Hizballah.
Strange rumors are doing the rounds in Israel right now. That's all they are for now, just rumors; they are interesting in that they indicate that tensions are high enough for them to be credible. Now the press reports Israeli air strikes and possible ground movement through Lebanon.