Lebanese Have Little Faith in Peacekeepers
Many adults in Lebanon question the role of an international peacekeeping force in their country, according to a poll by the Beirut Center for Research and Information. 77.3 per cent of respondents think the soldiers will be unable to act as a deterrence force against a possible “Israeli” attack.
On Jul. 12, Hizbullah militants based in Lebanon killed eight “Israeli” soldiers and captured two more in a cross-border attack. The “Israeli” armed forces launched air strikes inside Lebanese territory to fight Hizbullah, targeting the country’s infrastructure and its airport. Hizbullah retaliated by firing rockets into several “Israeli” towns.
A ceasefire brokered by the United Nations (UN) came into effect on Aug. 14. Security Council Resolution 1701 calls for “a full cessation of hostilities” from both sides and allows Lebanese government troops and a 15,000-member peacekeeping force to enter into southern Lebanon during the withdrawal of “Israeli” forces, but sets no timetable for the disarmament of Hizbullah or the return of the two abducted “Israeli” soldiers.
On Aug. 28, UN secretary-general Kofi Annan discussed the situation, saying, “It is important that the borders are protected and there are no attempts to rearm. Lebanon has seen too much conflict. There are too many arms in the country. We don’t need any more. (…) Let’s not kid ourselves and say the only way to disarm militias is by force.”
Lebanese voters renewed the Assembly of Representatives last year. In June 2005, Fuad Saniora-a former finance minister-was appointed as Lebanon’s new prime minister.
Do you think international forces could play a role in the Lebanese territories as a deterrence force against a possible further “Israeli” attack against Lebanon?
Source: Beirut Center for Research and Information
Methodology: Interviews with 800 Lebanese citizens-Sunnis, Shiites, Druze, and Christians- conducted from Aug. 18 to Aug. 20, 2006. No margin of error was provided.