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1. On August 12, 2006, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 1701, which calls for the end of the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah, nicknamed "the second Lebanon War" in Israel (For the full text of the resolution, see Appendix B). A ceasefire began on Monday, August 14, at 8 a.m. The government of Israel, which met on the morning of August 13, unanimously approved the decision (with the abstention of Minister Shaul Mofaz).
2. The Lebanese government unanimously approved the Security Council resolution on August 12, despite the reservations of Hezbollah supporters. An additional meeting of the Lebanese government was held during the afternoon of August 13 to define the practical aspects of implementing the resolution, following the morning Israeli government meeting. The meeting was postponed because of Hezbollah objections.
3. On August 12, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, in a carefully worded speech, said that he would implement the decision and cease Hezbollah attacks if a specific date for it were determined, and would agree to the deployment of Lebanese army troops reinforced by UNIFIL forces. On the other hand, he claimed that as long as Israeli forces were in Lebanon, Hezbollah would continue fighting, because "as long as Israeli soldiers occupy our land, it is our natural right to oppose them" (Al-Manar TV, August 12).
4. On the ground, a few hours before the Security Council adopted the resolution, Israeli Prime Minister ordered the IDF to broaden the scope of its land activities, with an emphasis on the territory south of the Litani River. The objective was to hamper Hezbollah's operational capabilities significantly, to damage the organization's short-range rocket batteries and to create conditions supportive of achieving the goals of the war and facilitating the implementation of security arrangements "the day after." Thus infantry and armored forces, with massive air support, are currently fighting in the zone south of the Litani to cleanse the area of Hezbollah terrorists.
On August 13, Hezbollah fired a final barrage of approximately 230 rockets. It also attempted to send two unmanned planes and a booby-trapped truck into Israel.
5. Security Council Resolution 1701 was adopted on the basis of the American-French draft proposal of August 5, although with certain revisions. The most important change was the establishment of an upgraded UNIFIL force, which will aid the Lebanese government in extending its sovereignty to south Lebanon, instead of a multinational force with a UN mandate, as stated in the American-French draft. In our assessment, the change is the result of a compromise between the relevant sides involved. It was decided that the force aiding the Lebanese government would continue to be called UNIFIL and it would not operate in accordance with Chapter 7 of the UN Charter. However, it will be entirely different from the current UNIFIL force in its force strength, mandate and the definition of its scope of operations.
6. Security Council Resolution 1701 has two perspectives, south Lebanon and north Lebanon:
A. With regard to south Lebanon (emphasizing the aome south of the Litani): In south Lebanon security arrangements will be based on the deployment of a Lebanese army force of 15,000 soldiers (in our assessment, approximately four brigades, perhaps more). An upgraded UNIFIL force of 15,000 soldiers will aid the Lebanese army to enforce its authority, ensure the demilitarization of south Lebanon and rid the area of both the presence and activity of Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations. The deployment of the Lebanese army is supposed to be carried out parallel with the IDF withdrawal to the Blue Line. So far no schedule has been established and it is not yet clear how the IDF withdrawal will be synchronized with the deployment of the Lebanese army and UNIFIL.
B. With regard to north Lebanon: The resolution calls for the disarming of Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations (with specifically mentioning their names), based on other Security Council resolutions (chiefly 1559) and the relevant internal Lebanese decisions (including the Taef Accord). In view of the apprehension generated by the expected replenishment of the Hezbollah arsenal by Syria and Iran, the resolution calls for an embargo on the provision of weapons to Hezbollah (and other terrorist organizations) and calls upon the Lebanese government to inspect and monitor Lebanon's borders and border crossings (on land, in the air and at sea), with UNIFIL support.
7. On paper, the resolution relates to the key issue of Hezbollah's existence as a terrorist organization with military might and political influence beyond the south Lebanese context. In reality, the key question is whether the two aspects of Resolution 1701 will actually be implemented. In our assessment the situation is as follows:
A. The Lebanese government and its army are the cornerstone of the security arrangements in south Lebanon and the address to which Israel will turn in case of (expected) Hezbollah violations. The Lebanese army has about 50,000 soldiers. It is small, its weapons are outdated and it a strong Shi'ite component. It can deploy its forces in south Lebanon in a relatively short time and carry out routine security activities in the area in which it is deployed. However, its operational qualifications are not impressive and it has no motivation to control Hezbollah. Therefore, it can be expected that the Lebanese government will attempt to coordinate its activities with Hezbollah while exploiting the organization's interest, in the near future, to focus on rehabilitating its operational and political capabilities. The upgraded UNIFIL force as well, when it is established as a unified force, is liable to prefer not to confront Hezbollah terrorists, even if its mandate and force strength enable it to do so. Its entrance into south Lebanon is liable to meet with difficulties in situations of friction with Hezbollah.
B. Despite those reservations, it should be noted that in comparison with previous agreements and Security Council resolutions, this resolution is far superior. The paragraphs dealing with the Lebanese government and the UN force are expressed more clearly and relate directly to the exceptional context of the presence and activities of terrorists in south Lebanon (See below). Moreover, the IDF's achievements in the war, especially the cleaning out of Hezbollah infrastructures in the area south of the Litani, together with Israel's determination to protect those achievements, are likely to aid in implementing the south Lebanese aspect better than it was implemented in the past.
C. With regard to the overall Lebanese aspect: Its importance is, in our assessment, its inclusion in the Security Council decision relating to the ceasefire. This is the first time that at the end of a round of battles between Israel and the terrorist organizations acting from Lebanon, a Security Council resolution mentions the need to deal with the basic issues of the presence of the terrorist organizations in Lebanon, their disarmament and the prevention of their rearmament. However, the resolution's section dealing with Lebanon in general is liable, in our assessment, to remain theoretical (as was the fate of Security Council Resolution 1559 and others), for the following reasons: there is no effective enforcement mechanism; Hezbollah, supported by Syria and Iran, can be expected to resist attempts to prevent the rehabilitation of its operative capabilities (to say nothing of further damage to them); and the international community will find effective enforcement difficult.
8. There are two additional problematic points in Security Council Resolution 1701:
A. The release of the two abducted IDF soldiers: The resolution (in its preamble) calls, in non-obligatory fashion, for their unconditional release and even recognizes that their abduction by Hezbollah was what led to the outbreak of the war. However, the resolution does not make the ceasefire conditional on their release, so that in effect, the ceasefire can be expected to begin before the soldiers are returned to Israel. The resolution's lack of a practical dimension for liberating the abducted soldiers is liable to provide an opening for stiff negotiations and demands bordering on extortion by Hezbollah, as has been the case in the past.
B. Raising the political agenda with the issue of the Sheba'a Farms and additional potential disputes along the Blue Line: The mention of the Sheba'a Farms indicates responsiveness to the demands of Lebanon and Hezbollah, although the UN and the international community rejected Lebanese's demands on the issue. In our assessment, Israel will again reject the Lebanese demands regarding the Sheba'a Farms (and perhaps other border adjustments as well), but the mere mention of the issue (even if there is no link between it and implementing security arrangements in the south) is liable to strengthen Hezbollah's claim as to the "legitimacy" of its continuing terrorist attacks in the Mt. Dov area.
9. In our assessment, this Security Council resolution, is essentially different from its predecessors adopted after rounds of confrontation between the IDF and the terrorist organizations in Lebanon. It creates security arrangements in the south, turns the Lebanese government into a valid address for Israel and relates to the basic problems of terrorism in Lebanon. As in the past, the real test will be its implementation, and the track record of previous resolutions and agreements in Lebanon does not bode well for this one.
10. First and foremost, the IDF's achievements on the ground, especially the severe blow dealt to the military infrastructures built by Hezbollah in south Lebanon during the past six years, should provide a greater chance for its implementation; at least in south Lebanon. To that can be added the damage caused to the symbols of Hezbollah rule in Beirut (the destruction of headquarters and infrastructures in the southern Shi'ite suburb which in the past was off limits for the Lebanese government) and the blow, heavy although not mortal, to the rocket arsenal Hezbollah built with Iranian and Syrian aid.
11. As the resolution is implemented, what will be tested will be the ability of Israel, Lebanon and the international community to turn the blows dealt to Hezbollah into a lever to effect a real change in the situation in Lebanon and lead to the longest possible period of calm along the Israeli-Lebanese border. In our assessment, as it appears on paper, Security Council Resolution 1701 has the potential, at least in south Lebanon, to do so, but realizing that potential depends on two fundamental conditions:
A. Enforcing the resolution: Lebanon and the international community must establish mechanisms for effective enforcement and monitoring, in the north as well as the south, and demonstrate its intent and determination in putting them into practice. The importance of those mechanisms is particularly important in view of the resistance Hezbollah, supported by Iran and Syria, can be expected to put up in its attempts to make the articles of the resolution evaporate and to rehabilitate its wounded military and political power. Thus everything touching upon the possibility of implementing the paragraphs dealing with north Lebanon (disarming Hezbollah and the weapons embargo) is an unknown.
B. Maintaining the resolution: The picture in south Lebanon is, in our assessment, fundamentally different. Israel's military measures created new conditions on the ground which can serve as the basis for implementing the resolution's security arrangements, even if they are implemented imperfectly. However, in the long run it is Israel that will have to ensure that the operative paragraphs of the Security Council resolution are carried out and prevent the reappearance of the terrorist infrastructure in south Lebanon, as in the past. Israeli policy of determined support for the operative paragraphs of the resolution is liable to have the heavy price of the use of military force in the Lebanese arena (and in the Palestinian arena at the same time) and greater involvement in the complicated situation in Lebanon, a price Israel has avoided trying to pay since May 2000.
12. Two appendices follow, an analysis of Security Council Resolution 1701 and the full text of the resolution.
1. On August 12 the Security Council adopted Resolution 1701 to stop the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah. The resolution was adopted under Chapter 6 of the UN Charter, but the wording in some of its paragraphs similar to that in resolutions appearing under Chapter 7. Thus, for instance, the last paragraph of the introduction, which states that the situation in Lebanon constitutes a threat to international peace and security, is cast in the language of Chapter 7, and reinforces the operative paragraphs of the resolution.
2. The following are the main elements of the proposed resolution (for the full text see Appendix B):
A. The cessation of hostilities: The first operative paragraph calls for a full cessation of the hostilities based on the immediate cessation by Hezbollah of all attacks and the immediate cessation by Israel of all offensive military operations. While the resolution bans all Hezbollah activity (and deprives it of pretexts to continue) it recognizes Israel's right to defend itself in the face of continued Hezbollah attacks (Nasrallah has already announced that his organization will attack IDF remaining forces in Lebanon).
B. The unconditional release of the two abducted Israeli soldiers, while placing the responsibility for the current confrontation squarely on Hezbollah: The paragraph appears in the introduction in the context of ending the hostilities, and does not make the ceasefire conditional on the release of the two abducted soldiers. In a separate paragraph, the proposal encourages the efforts to settle the issue of the problem of the Lebanese prisoners on Israel (i.e., to release them) but does not make a connection between those efforts and the release of the IDF soldiers.
C. Extending the authority and sovereignty of the Lebanese government over all Lebanese territory (i.e., on south Lebanon) on the basis of Security Council Resolutions 1559 (2004) and 1680 (2006) and the relevant articles of the Taef Accord (1989): The Security Council resolution welcomes the decision made by the Lebanese government on August 7 to deploy 15,000 Lebanese soldiers armed with the necessary weapons and supported by a UN force. According to Operative Paragraph 2, the deployment will take place in parallel as Israel withdraws its forces from south Lebanon.
D. UNIFIL support of the Lebanese government:1) Regarding that topic, an essential change was made in the American-French draft proposal. In our assessment, it was a function of the objection of the Lebanese government (pressured by Hezbollah) to an international force with muscle which would operate according to Chapter 7. As a compromise, it was decided that the Lebanese government would be supported by an upgraded UNIFIL force with a larger force strength, broader scope of operations and the appropriate mandate.
2) The Operative Paragraphs of the resolution that relate to UNIFIL (worded similarly to Chapter 7) allow for an increase in its force strength to 15,000 troops and an enhanced scope of operations far beyond those provided in the past (1978) in Security Council Resolutions 425 and 426. The upgraded UNIFIL's chief missions will be: to monitor the cessation of hostilities; to assist the Lebanese army to deploy in the south up to the Blue Line and to establish its authority; to extend humanitarian aid to the civilian population and to ensure the safe return of displaced persons.
3) In that context the resolution determines that between the Blue Line and the Litani River "security arrangements" will be established, and in that area only the Lebanese government and UNIFIL will operate and the presence of armed forces (i.e., Hezbollah) will be banned, as will weapons and other "assets" (apparently a reference to posts and entrenchments).
4) The area of UNIFIL's activity will be enlarged to the north as well and it will assist the Lebanese government (at its request) to secure its borders and the entrances to its territory to prevent the entry of unauthorized weapons.
E. The IDF retreat from south Lebanon: As noted, the IDF will retreat in parallel with the entry of the Lebanese army and UNIFIL, but there is no schedule for an immediate IDF withdrawal. (It is also noted that the Security Council is determined to bring about the withdrawal at the earliest.) The resolution also states that foreign forces will not operate in Lebanon without the consent of the Lebanese government (a paragraph which should, in our assessment, relate not only to the IDF but to Syrian, Iranian and any other foreign force in Lebanon).
F. The institution of a permanent ceasefire on a firm base along the Israeli-Lebanese border: That is to be implemented on the basis of a long-term solution founded on the principles mentioned in this and previous Security Council resolutions or relevant internal Lebanese decisions. In that context -- the disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon -- as demanded by Security Council Resolution 1559 and the Taef Accord was announced. The Secretary General of the UN is supposed to present the Security Council with proposals about the disarmament of the "armed groups" (particularly Hezbollah) within 30 days.
G. Lebanon's borders:1) The resolution calls for full respect of the Blue Line (the Israeli-Lebanese border based on the international border delineated by UN cartographers on the eve of the IDF withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000). It also mentions the international boundaries of Lebanon as they were defined by the Armistice Agreement (1949).
2) The resolution again raises the issue of the Sheba'a Farms based on the Lebanese government's seven-point program, despite the fact that in the past the UN (and the international community) rejected Lebanese claims to the area.
3) The resolution requests that the UN Secretary General to develop proposals for the delineation of Lebanon's international borders in the areas that are "disputed or uncertain," including the Sheba'a Farms, and to present his proposals to the Security Council within 30 days.
H. The imposition of an international embargo on the provision of weapons to Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations in Lebanon (without mentioning names): The Security Council resolution uses language similar to Chapter 7 of the UN Charter:1) It calls upon the Lebanese government to secure its borders and the entrances to its territory on land, in the air and by sea so that arms and related materiel will not be introduced into Lebanon without its consent. That includes weapons, ammunition, spare parts, military vehicles and equipment and paramilitary equipment.
2) It calls upon all states to take the necessary measures to prevent the use of their territories or ships or planes to supply weapons to groups in Lebanon without the consent of the Lebanese government (especially relevant for Syria, which serves as the conduit for Hezbollah weapons, and for Iran, Hezbollah's main arms supplier).
3) It gives UNIFIL authorization to assist the Lebanese government in all of the above in accordance with the request of the Lebanese government.
I. Humanitarian and economic aid: The resolution calls for the international community to take immediate measures to extend humanitarian and economic aid to the Lebanese people, and to facilitate the safe return of displaced persons. It also calls for the reopening of the harbors and airports consistent the measures which must be taken by the Lebanese government to prevent the smuggling weapons into its territory.
"The Security Council,
"Recalling all its previous resolutions on Lebanon, in particular resolutions 425 (1978), 426 (1978), 520 (1982), 1559 (2004), 1655 (2006) 1680 (2006) and 1697 (2006), as well as the statements of its President on the situation in Lebanon, in particular the statements of 18 June 2000 (S/PRST/2000/21), of 19 October 2004 (S/PRST/2004/36), of 4 May 2005 (S/PRST/2005/17), of 23 January 2006 (S/PRST/2006/3) and of 30 July 2006 (S/PRST/2006/35),
"Expressing its utmost concern at the continuing escalation of hostilities in Lebanon and in Israel since Hizbollah's attack on Israel on 12 July 2006, which has already caused hundreds of deaths and injuries on both sides, extensive damage to civilian infrastructure and hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons,
"Emphasizing the need for an end of violence, but at the same time emphasizing the need to address urgently the causes that have given rise to the current crisis, including by the unconditional release of the abducted Israeli soldiers,
"Mindful of the sensitivity of the issue of prisoners and encouraging the efforts aimed at urgently settling the issue of the Lebanese prisoners detained in Israel,
"Welcoming the efforts of the Lebanese Prime Minister and the commitment of the Government of Lebanon, in its seven-point plan, to extend its authority over its territory, through its own legitimate armed forces, such that there will be no weapons without the consent of the Government of Lebanon and no authority other than that of the Government of Lebanon, welcoming also its commitment to a United Nations force that is supplemented and enhanced in numbers, equipment, mandate and scope of operation, and bearing in mind its request in this plan for an immediate withdrawal of the Israeli forces from southern Lebanon,
"Determined to act for this withdrawal to happen at the earliest,
"Taking due note of the proposals made in the seven-point plan regarding the Shebaa farms area, "Welcoming the unanimous decision by the Government of Lebanon on 7 August 2006 to deploy a Lebanese armed force of 15,000 troops in South Lebanon as the Israeli army withdraws behind the Blue Line and to request the assistance of additional forces from UNIFIL as needed, to facilitate the entry of the Lebanese armed forces into the region and to restate its intention to strengthen the Lebanese armed forces with material as needed to enable it to perform its duties,
"Aware of its responsibilities to help secure a permanent ceasefire and a long-term solution to the conflict,
"Determining that the situation in Lebanon constitutes a threat to international peace and security,
"1. Calls for a full cessation of hostilities based upon, in particular, the immediate cessation by Hizbollah of all attacks and the immediate cessation by Israel of all offensive military operations;
"2. Upon full cessation of hostilities, calls upon the Government of Lebanon and UNIFIL as authorized by paragraph 11 to deploy their forces together throughout the South and calls upon the Government of Israel, as that deployment begins, to withdraw all of its forces from southern Lebanon in parallel;
"3. Emphasizes the importance of the extension of the control of the Government of Lebanon over all Lebanese territory in accordance with the provisions of resolution 1559 (2004) and resolution 1680 (2006), and of the relevant provisions of the Taif Accords, for it to exercise its full sovereignty, so that there will be no weapons without the consent of the Government of Lebanon and no authority other than that of the Government of Lebanon;
"4. Reiterates its strong support for full respect for the Blue Line;
"5. Also reiterates its strong support, as recalled in all its previous relevant resolutions, for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence of Lebanon within its internationally recognized borders, as contemplated by the Israeli-Lebanese General Armistice Agreement of 23 March 1949;
"6. Calls on the international community to take immediate steps to extend its financial and humanitarian assistance to the Lebanese people, including through facilitating the safe return of displaced persons and, under the authority of the Government of Lebanon, reopening airports and harbours, consistent with paragraphs 14 and 15, and calls on it also to consider further assistance in the future to contribute to the reconstruction and development of Lebanon;
"7. Affirms that all parties are responsible for ensuring that no action is taken contrary to paragraph 1 that might adversely affect the search for a long-term solution, humanitarian access to civilian populations, including safe passage for humanitarian convoys, or the voluntary and safe return of displaced persons, and calls on all parties to comply with this responsibility and to cooperate with the Security Council;
"8. Calls for Israel and Lebanon to support a permanent ceasefire and a long-term solution based on the following principles and elements:
-- full respect for the Blue Line by both parties;
-- security arrangements to prevent the resumption of hostilities, including the establishment between the Blue Line and the Litani river of an area free of any armed personnel, assets and weapons other than those of the Government of Lebanon and of UNIFIL as authorized in paragraph 11, deployed in this area;
-- full implementation of the relevant provisions of the Taif Accords, and of resolutions 1559 (2004) and 1680 (2006), that require the disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon, so that, pursuant to the Lebanese cabinet decision of 27 July 2006, there will be no weapons or authority in Lebanon other than that of the Lebanese State;
-- no foreign forces in Lebanon without the consent of its Government;
-- no sales or supply of arms and related materiel to Lebanon except as authorized by its Government;
-- provision to the United Nations of all remaining maps of land mines in Lebanon in Israel's possession;
"9. Invites the Secretary-General to support efforts to secure as soon as possible agreements in principle from the Government of Lebanon and the Government of Israel to the principles and elements for a long-term solution as set forth in paragraph 8, and expresses its intention to be actively involved;
"10. Requests the Secretary-General to develop, in liaison with relevant international actors and the concerned parties, proposals to implement the relevant provisions of the Taif Accords, and resolutions 1559 (2004) and 1680 (2006), including disarmament, and for delineation of the international borders of Lebanon, especially in those areas where the border is disputed or uncertain, including by dealing with the Shebaa farms area, and to present to the Security Council those proposals within thirty days;
"11. Decides, in order to supplement and enhance the force in numbers, equipment, mandate and scope of operations, to authorize an increase in the force strength of UNIFIL to a maximum of 15,000 troops, and that the force shall, in addition to carrying out its mandate under resolutions 425 and 426 (1978):
(a) Monitor the cessation of hostilities;
(b) Accompany and support the Lebanese armed forces as they deploy throughout the South, including along the Blue Line, as Israel withdraws its armed forces from Lebanon as provided in paragraph 2;
(c) Coordinate its activities related to paragraph 11 (b) with the Government of Lebanon and the Government of Israel;
(d) Extend its assistance to help ensure humanitarian access to civilian populations and the voluntary and safe return of displaced persons;
(e) Assist the Lebanese armed forces in taking steps towards the establishment of the area as referred to in paragraph 8;
(f) Assist the Government of Lebanon, at its request, to implement paragraph 14;
"12. Acting in support of a request from the Government of Lebanon to deploy an international force to assist it to exercise its authority throughout the territory, authorizes UNIFIL to take all necessary action in areas of deployment of its forces and as it deems within its capabilities, to ensure that its area of operations is not utilized for hostile activities of any kind, to resist attempts by forceful means to prevent it from discharging its duties under the mandate of the Security Council, and to protect United Nations personnel, facilities, installations and equipment, ensure the security and freedom of movement of United Nations personnel, humanitarian workers and, without prejudice to the responsibility of the Government of Lebanon, to protect civilians under imminent threat of physical violence;
"13. Requests the Secretary-General urgently to put in place measures to ensure UNIFIL is able to carry out the functions envisaged in this resolution, urges Member States to consider making appropriate contributions to UNIFIL and to respond positively to requests for assistance from the Force, and expresses its strong appreciation to those who have contributed to UNIFIL in the past;
"14. Calls upon the Government of Lebanon to secure its borders and other entry points to prevent the entry in Lebanon without its consent of arms or related materiel and requests UNIFIL as authorized in paragraph 11 to assist the Government of Lebanon at its request;
"15. Decides further that all States shall take the necessary measures to prevent, by their nationals or from their territories or using their flag vessels or aircraft:
"(a) The sale or supply to any entity or individual in Lebanon of arms and related materiel of all types, including weapons and ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, paramilitary equipment, and spare parts for the aforementioned, whether or not originating in their territories; and "(b) The provision to any entity or individual in Lebanon of any technical training or assistance related to the provision, manufacture, maintenance or use of the items listed in subparagraph (a) above;
except that these prohibitions shall not apply to arms, related material, training or assistance authorized by the Government of Lebanon or by UNIFIL as authorized in paragraph 11;
"16. Decides to extend the mandate of UNIFIL until 31 August 2007, and expresses its intention to consider in a later resolution further enhancements to the mandate and other steps to contribute to the implementation of a permanent ceasefire and a long-term solution;
"17. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council within one week on the implementation of this resolution and subsequently on a regular basis;
"18. Stresses the importance of, and the need to achieve, a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, based on all its relevant resolutions including its resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967, 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973 and 1515 (2003) of 18 November 2003;
"19. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter."
1. For an analysis of the resolution, see Appendix A.
2. For further information see our Information Bulletin entitled
"Analysis of the draft of the UN Security Council resolution
proposed by France and the United States to end the hostilities
between Israel and Hezbollah,"
3. For further information see our Information Bulletin entitled
"Agreements, arrangements and understandings concerning Lebanon to
which Israel was involved during the past 30 years -- background,
data, lessons and conclusions. By Dr. Reuven Erlich,"
4. For further information about the issue of the Sheba'a Farms, see
our Information Bulletin entitled "Raising the issue of the
Sheba'a Farms in the proposed American-French Security Council
draft resolution for ending the fighting: background information
and significance, By Dr. Reuven Erlich,"
5. At a meeting in Rome on July 26, Fuad Siniora presented a
seven-point program. One of the points was bringing the Sheba'a
Farms area under UN authority until the border could be delineated
Think-Israel Editorial Comment
This ceasefire is without teeth -- it substitutes pleas for operational definitions. It has no IF ... THEN statements. It has no enforcement powers, no penalties. It uses "authority" in two connections, neither of which is the U.N.:
1. UNIFIL. But UNIFIL has been there for years, with more authority and was completely ineffective in stopping Hezbollah from taking over the area, stockpiling armaments and shooting at Israel.
What Resolution 1701 does to stop hostilities? Nothing. The new peacekeepers include a few French -- the French are politically pro-Arab -- and some countries that don't even recognize Israel!
Resolution 1701 does one thing effectively. It is vague enough to allow for multiple interpretations. In effect, this means that the next phase of the war will be by propaganda and the foot soldiers will be the media and the U.N. It has already started. Israel went into Lebanon to stop Hezbollah from receiving rearmament from Syria and Iran, and the media and the U.N. screamed that Israel was violating the treaty. (See Diker's article on the media for an example of how the media reinterpretated Resolution 242 so that it appeared to uphold false land claims by the Arabs.)
To sum up:
Obligations of the participants: Zero.
If this goes as previous ceasefires and accords have, Israel will pretty much hold to the agreement; the arabs will constantly and shamelessly violate the agreement; the "world" will look the other way and/or condemn Israel and praise the Arabs.
This article was submitted August 13, 2006
Dr. Reuven Erlich (Colonel, Ret.) is Director of The Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Center for Special Studies (C.S.S)
This article was submitted August 13, 2006
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