The immediate cause of the war was the crossborder raid into Israel, accompanied by a barrage of missiles on the town of Shlomi, as a diversion for the kidnapping. During the raid, eight soldiers were killed, and two were kidnapped. This act in itself constituted an act of war. Nevertheless, this raid by itself might not have constituted a sufficient cause for the war. That sufficient cause was presented by the steady, aggressive buildup of Hizbollah's war machine over the preceding six years.This war machine could have only one purpose. Under no circumstances could Israel allow this build up to continue. Israel could not lose its deterrance power, nor could it allow more sophisticated weapons to be facing its border and community, nor could it risk any more surprises. It was imperative that Israel retake the strategic initiative, increase its deterrance, and deny the enemy the element of surprise.
PLO official: Reports about Abbas' resignation from political life very premature (Haaretz)
from the article: Was it a war of choice?