The conflict in Lebanon is dismembering part of the country’s state apparatus and seriously affecting its civil society, which was in a lengthy period of post-war recovery.
At the same time, the conflict is one which is intimately related to other flashpoints in the Middle East, a region of the world which will be seriously affected by the repercussions of the crisis and the one taking place in Gaza.
After two Israeli soldiers were taken prisoner and another three were killed by the armed wing of Hezbollah – an Islamic militant group based in Lebanon - the Israeli state responded with a full scale attack on Lebanon which got underway on the 12th of July 2006.
Hezbollah has presented the Israeli authorities with a list of prisoners of various nationalities held by the Israelis, with the demand that they be released as a nonnegotiable condition of any cessation of hostilities.
At this point, and after two weeks of mutual aggression, Israeli continues its advance into Lebanese territory, where in the south it has established a security area with the declared aim of destroying both infrastructure and Hezbollah forces in the region, forcing its power base to the north.
Hezbollah, for its part, has carried on launching rockets into northern Israel.
As the conflict stretches on, the international community is divided between those who want to give Israel time to carry out its objectives (the UK and USA), those who limit criticism to Israel (Iran), those calling for an immediate cease-fire, criticising both Israel and Hezbollah (the UN and some European governments, including Spain) and the long list of states which remain passive in the face of the conflict.