• Lebanon
  • August 13, 2006
  • 19 minutes read

Hezbollah said it will respect the recently adopted UN resolution

Hezbollah said it will respect the recently adopted UN resolution said to be aimed at ending bloodshed in the Lebanese territories, even though it said that the resolution was not fair.

The Lebanese resistance movement’s leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah said although the UN resolution is not fair, his organisation won’t stand as an obstacle in the way of its approval.

“We will not be an obstacle to any decision taken by the Lebanese government. Our government ministers will register reservations on the resolution and some of its terms,” he said on Hezbollah’s Al-Manar television.

The resolution “is unjust and unfair because it held Hezbollah responsible for starting the aggression.”

Hezbollah will respect any ceasefire agreement reached by the UN or between Lebanon and Israel, Mr. Nasrallah said.

“If there is an agreement over a ceasefire through UN chief Kofi Annan or an agreement between Lebanon and Israel … the resistance will abide,” Mr. Nasrallah said.

A few hours after the UN adopted the resolution; Israel started deploying thousands of additional troops into Lebanon.

Reports also said that Israeli army units have reached the Litani River.

A huge number of Israeli armored vehicles massed on the border trying to drive Hezbollah fighters behind the Litani, about 18 miles from the border, but they were faced with fierce resistance from Hezbollah, which destroyed 21 Israeli tanks and killed seven soldiers.

  • UN adopts approves Lebanon resolution

The UN Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution calling for ending the four-week long fighting between the Israeli occupation army and Hezbollah resistance fighters, as Israel began “broadening” its ground offensive in Lebanon.

Resolution 1701, originally submitted by the United States and France, calls for “a full cessation of hostilities”, and the deployment of up to 15,000 UN troops to monitor a withdrawal of Israeli occupation troops from southern Lebanon to help the Lebanese army enforce a ceasefire.

  • Israeli strikes continue

Despite the agreement, described by the U.S. Secretary of State as a step expected to “open a path to lasting peace between Lebanon and Israel”, Israel continued its brutal and relentless strikes on Saturday, killing and wounding many in South Lebanon.

Israel’s military announced Saturday, hours after the UN Security Council adopted the resolution aimed at ending the fighting in the country; that it had started broadening its ground offensive in south Lebanon, with its troops reportedly heading towards the Litani River.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defence Minister Amir Peretz gave orders to broaden the offensive in the country, officials said.

Early Saturday, Israeli airstrikes in the southern Lebanese city of Tyre, already devastated by previous Israeli attacks, left many killed and wounded.

Also reports said that power station in the city of Sidon, north of the Litani River, was also hit by new Israeli strikes.

  • Israeli losses

Hezbollah has dealt Israel its heaviest losses in the recent conflict that broke out in Lebanon following the capture of two of its soldiers in an attempt by the Lebanese resistance movement to pressure the Jewish state release all Lebanese detainees held in Israeli jails.

Israel failed to carry out its threat to damage Hezbollah and its weapons arsenal and establish a “security zone” free of resistance fighters, planned to extend two kilometers into Lebanon from the Israeli border.

Israel’s offensive, which as entered its fifth week, has so far failed to hinder Hezbollah’s rocket attacks.

  • Lebanon accepts resolution

The Lebanese government accepted the resolution and would issue a formal acceptance to the Council on Saturday, an official source said.

But an adviser to Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora gave the resolution a cautious welcome.

Olmert told U.S. President George W. Bush he backed the resolution, according to an Israeli government official.

“The prime minister spoke with President Bush and thanked him for his assistance in keeping Israeli interests in mind at the Security Council,” the official said.

Israeli attacks killed 26 people on Friday, including seven who died when an Israeli drone fired rockets at a convoy of hundreds of cars fleeing south Lebanon.

Hezbollah rockets wounded seven people in Israel.

Also an Israeli soldier was reportedly killed in fighting.

More than 1,041 people had been killed in Lebanon in the month-old fighting.

After ceasefire, according to the text, the Israeli army must withdraw from southern Lebanon at the earliest opportunity, and Lebanon will deploy its forces.

  • Blair welcomes the resolution

British Prime Minister Tony Blair welcomed the adopted resolution.
He unveiled plans to visit the Middle East soon, claiming it will be aimed at reaching ways to install peace in the region, especially between Israelis and Palestinians.

“We must work to address the underlying root causes of this conflict,” Blair claimed in a statement.

“We must never lose sight of the fact that the conflict in Lebanon arose out of the desire to exploit the continuing impasse in Palestine.”

• Israel warns of a “greater tragedy”

Meanwhile Israel warned of an even “greater tragedy” in the Middle East if the UN Lebanon resolution did not produce “change” in the country.

“A resolution alone will do nothing,” Israel’s UN ambassador Dan Gillerman told the Security Council of the UN statement, repeating calls for the disarmament of the Lebanese resistance movement, Hezbollah.

He also called for establishing what the Israel army calls “arms free zone” in southern Lebanon.

“Unless the tools set out in this resolution are used, with resolve and decisiveness, we will be back at this table — if not in a week then in a month or a year, facing an even greater tragedy.

The Israeli diplomat threw the blame for the current bloodshed on Lebanon, accusing the government of failing to control Hezbollah and claim its authority over the country.

“Israel, like any state, has the right and duty to ’defend’ its citizens from Hezbollah’s unprovoked attacks,” claimed Gillerman.

“However it is ready to respond to the calls of this Council and to give another chance to the government of Lebanon and the international community to create a new reality on the ground.”

Gillerman used the alleged airline-bombing plot that has been foiled by Britain this week to stress the Jewish State’s claim that “terrorism” has become a mark of the Middle East, which he claimed, poses a real threat to the whole world, arguing that “the tragedy we have seen in our region over the past weeks … is but a preview of a coming attraction, produced by Iran, directed by Syria, acted by terrorist groups, soon to be seen in a theatre near you.” 

• U.S. asks Iran, Syria endorse UN resolution

In an address to the Security Council, the U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice asked Iran and Syria to accept the UN resolution.

“We call upon every state, especially Iran and Syria, to respect the sovereignty of the Lebanese government and the will of the international community,” she said, adding;
Hezbollah now faces a clear choice between war and peace.”

Israel’s relentless attacks and indiscriminate bombardment of Lebanese towns and villages over the month-long conflict have left more than 1,000 Lebanese, mostly civilians, dead.

120 Israelis have died since the fighting broke out last month.

The U.S. Secretary of State, moreover, stated that the UN resolution should “open a path to lasting peace between Lebanon and Israel that will end the suffering and violence of this past month.”

“It is time to build a more hopeful future. This resolution shows us the way.”

  • “War is not politics by other means”

The UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan expressed disappointment that the Security Councils major powers couldn’t reach a resolution to end the fighting sooner, before civilians on both sides “have suffered such terrible, unnecessary pain and loss”.

“I would be remiss if I did not tell you how profoundly disappointed I am that the council did not reach this point much, much earlier,” he said.

“All members of this council must be aware that this inability to act sooner has badly shaken the world’s faith in its authority and integrity,” he said.

“It is absolutely vital that the fighting now stop,” Annan said.

“War is not politics by other means.”

The Security Council’s session in which the UN text was endorsed included, other than Rice and the Israeli ambassador to the UN, foreign ministers of France, Britain and several other countries.

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