"Operation Accountability" (1993) and "Operation Grapes of Wrath" (1996)

In July 1993, the IDF undertook Operation Accountability in Lebanon in response to shelling of Israel’s northern towns and villages by Hizbullah terrorists. The Operation was intended to influence the Lebanese Government to control the happenings in Southern Lebanon by forcing the population of Southern Lebanon to travel northwards, thus placing pressure on the Government of Lebanon, and through it, upon Syria. Despite a set of understandings, reached upon conclusion of the operation, Hizbullah reverted to its previous modus operandi of attacking IDF patrols in Lebanon, operating from within civilian areas. When the IDF would return fire, they would shell Israeli villages and intensified actions against Israeli troops deployed in the Security Zone. From the end of Operation Accountability (31 July, 1993) till 11 April, 1996, 83 Israeli civilians were wounded, 2 were killed, and 58 IDF soldiers were killed and 261 others were wounded. A total of 282 Katyushas fell during that period on Israeli towns, villages and kibbutzim.

On 11 April, 1996, after a series of successive Katyusha attacks against Israel, the IDF undertook Operation Grapes of Wrath (II), whose aim was to put an end to the situation where Hizbullah terrorists would attack Israeli towns and villages and the Security Zone whenever they so desired. The operation lasted for 16 days. The object was to hit major Hizbullah targets and infrastructure, and to put pressure on the Lebanese Government to restrain Hizbullah.

During the operation, the IDF attacked Hizbullah strongholds, training grounds and personnel. The civilian population of southern Lebanon was warned repeatedly to leave the vicinity of terrorists and to travel north in order to escape harm. Using precision munitions, the Israel Air Force and artillery acquired and destroyed Hizbullah headquarters , training sites, staging areas and residences of Hizbullah leaders as well as large numbers of Katyusha launchers and mortars. To avoid casualties to Israeli troops, the IDF did not commit large-scale grounds forces in search and destroy missions. Consequently not all of the Katyusha rockets were destroyed. Israeli bombardments destroyed Hizbullah infrastructure and pressure placed on the Lebanese government eventually brought about a new set of understandings which specified that armed groups in Lebanon will not carry out attacks by Katyusha rockets or by any kind of weapon into Israel, and that under no circumstances would civilians constitute targets of hostilities. Civilians and civilian villages were thus considered hors combat. According to the understanding, Israel reserved the right to respond to possible Hizbullah attacks including those which violate the agreement by engaging Israeli orces from Lebanese villages. This right was underlined in an accompanying letter by United States Secretary of State Warren Christopher to Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres. The understandings were controlled by an international monitoring group (Syria was specifically mentioned as having a responsibility in controlling terror in Lebanon and was a member of the monitoring group), and were guaranteed by a series of letters between the United States and Israel.

The understandings and guarantees following Operation Grapes of Wrath did not constitute or pretend to stand in lieu of a peace treaty with Lebanon or a cessation of hostilities with Hizbullah. What the understandings attempted to achieve was to regulate the fighting. On May 24th 2000 the IDF pulled out of South Lebanon and redeployed along the Israeli-Lebanese border, approved by the UN.