Hezbollah claims victory, but UN Resolution 1701 is a defeat for Lebanon’s sovereignty
CAIRO: The cease-fire that began at 8 a.m. local time last Monday between Hezbollah and Israel was founded on UN Resolution 1701, which provides Israel with an international force to protect its borders and removes Lebanon’s right to defend itself from an aggressor.
Recalling all previous resolutions, the text that was passed encouraged the unconditional release of the abducted Israeli soldiers but was only mindful of the “need to address the thousands of Lebanese prisoners being held in Israel.
A deployment of 15,000 Lebanese soldiers, at the expense of the Lebanese taxpayer was a decision made by the Lebanese government that initially benefits Israel, assisting in the protection of its disputed border in South Lebanon.
The benefit that Lebanon gains from Resolution 1701 is the withdrawal of all Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) from the region, supervised by United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (Unifil) currently present in the south.
Unifil was originally created in 1978 to confirm Israeli withdrawal and restore international peace and security, helping the Lebanese government restore its effective authority in Lebanon. The resolution made a reaffirmation of Unifil’s priorities that date back to the Israeli-Lebanese General Armistice Agreement, 1949, but this agreement should have been adhered to when Israel invaded Lebanon on July 12.
Mohammed El-Sayed Said of the Al Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies in Cairo believes the prevention of Israel attacking civilian targets is the only way to ensure another conflict will not flare up in the region.
“This resolution is aimed at oppressing Lebanon and pushing instability in the region whilst aiming to restore the prestige of Israeli forces. I also believe that the criticism of Iranian armaments to Hezbollah is hypocritical, considering that the U.S. supplies weapons to Israel that are used against civilian targets says Said.
Despite the cease-fire, Israeli aircraft have dropped written warnings for refugees not to return to cities such as Tyre until a joint International-Lebanese force arrives to assist in peacekeeping operations in the South.
Kassem Jouni, living in Beirut said: “I m so happy the ceasefire happened. But I m so afraid the Israelis will bomb people. They are still on our land. Israel achieved nothing. [Israel’s] goal was to get back the two soldiers, but didn t get them. Hezbollah has gained authority in Lebanon. It has united the Lebanese people.
Similarly in Israel, evacuees coming out of bomb shelters in Kiryat Shmona where nearly 1,000 Hezbollah missiles struck were disappointed with the results of the conflict. Some believe that the lack of a real resolution to disarm Hezbollah means another conflict will spark again in the future.
“I hope the ceasefire will last, but I m sceptical. I don t think any problem has been solved. A lot of people died, a lot of property was ruined. Now both sides are just taking a deep breath before the next round, says Dr. Nimrod Rahamimov, living in Kiryat Shmona.
Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan described the ceasefire as “extremely precarious and reportedly said “the most urgent task was to get troops on the ground.
In the next two weeks, the United Nations hopes to see troops deployed in southern Lebanon to reinforce the 2,000 Unifil presently monitoring the withdrawal of the Israeli troops from the region.
According to Haaretz newspaper, UN Assistant Secretary General for Peacekeeping Hedi Annabi said “the UN, in accordance with Resolution 1701 hopes 3,500 well-equipped international troops can reinforce the UN contingent within 10 days to help consolidate the fragile cessation of hostilities and create the conditions for IDF soldiers to head home.