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21 Cease-Fire Violations

Posted by Casey on July 20, 2007

NOTICE:

The following post is from a column I wrote for another site before I had my blog. It is from Sept. 2006, and it chronicled the various cease-fire violations of UN resolution 1701. That is the resolution that ended the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah.

There have been far more than 21 violations of this resolution since then. Most of those violations were committed by Hezbollah, and the UN … not Israel. Yes, the UN has continued to violate its own resolution. This is nothing new in the history of the UN … don’t act so surprised.

Sept. 1, 2006

UN Security Council Resolution 1701 is a pretty simple document that established a cease-fire between Hezbollah and Israel to hopefully end the recent conflict. Most of us knew the cease-fire wouldn’t hold, and many of us pressed for Israel to just finish it already. Unfortunately international pressure, and a far too optimistic military doctrine, saw Israel accept yet another UN resolution directly linked to the safety of that country. If 1701 fails like the Taif Agreement and UN resolution 1559 has failed for all of these years, there will be more war.

Many of us expected there to be a violation, or two, of the new cease-fire resolution. We also expected that at some point Israel would respond to violations, and thus be blamed themselves for those violations. Well, violating 1701 didn’t take very long, and we were proven correct that Israel would get the blame.

Here’s what the AP had to say:

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Saturday that an early-morning Israeli raid against Hezbollah in eastern Lebanon violated the 6-day-old cease-fire brokered by the United Nations. An Israeli officer was killed, and two soldiers wounded, when Israeli commandos raided a Hezbollah stronghold deep in Lebanon.

It only took six days for Israel to violate the cease-fire, and draw Kofi Annan out to criticize their conduct. That’s almost a record. The problem here is that this wasn’t the first violation of 1701 it’s the nineteenth! This is, however, the first violation by Israel. Since this was the nineteenth violation in six days, and the first by Israel, where’s Kofi ‘hell no’ Annan been? Since this event there has been another violation of 1701, and there will no doubt be more. So what exactly does 1701 say, and what are the other violations I’m writing about?

I won’t bore you with the full text of UN resolution 1701, but you can confirm the excerpts I use from it on the UN’s own website. The opening paragraphs of the resolution recalls all previous resolutions on Lebanon, squarely puts the blame on Hezbollah, says there will be no weapons in Lebanon without the consent of the Lebanese government, no authority other than the Lebanese government, calls for a larger UNIFIL force, the unconditional release of the abducted Israeli soldiers, and other things as well. Even though the UN recalled all previous resolutions on Lebanon, it calls for 1701 to implement what those resolutions failed to.

Violation 1 & 2:
By STEVEN R. HURST – Aug 14
The truce that took effect at 8 a.m. (1 a.m. EDT) largely held through its first day, although six Hezbollah fighters were killed in skirmishes between Israeli forces and Hezbollah that illustrated the fragility of the cease-fire.

I’ve actually given a pass to Hezbollah here. In two separate skirmishes, Hezbollah moved aggressively towards Israeli positions sparking a firefight. There is a long history of battles and skirmishes happening right after an end to hostilities. Nevertheless, a violation is a violation, and Hezbollah racked up two here. The first provision of 1701 is pretty clear.

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;

Hezbollah launched two attacks, and Israel’s response was defensive not offensive. Hezbollah 2, Israel 0.

Violation 3-6:
Daniel McGrory – Aug 15
It was supposed to be the day the maligned Lebanese army took control of the country’s borders and policed the UN ceasefire.
Instead, the military commanders were left humiliated and troops stranded as Hezbollah told them not to disarm its fighters.
The first infantry units were preparing to head south when Hezbollah showed who controls the area by announcing it would not surrender its weapons.

General Michel Sleiman, commander-in-chief of the Lebanese army, and his lieutenants had been invited to join cabinet meetings to finalise plans to deploy the 15,000-strong force south of the Litani River. But they were lectured by Hezbollah’s two ministers in the coalition Government on what the army could and could not do.

Very interesting. Remember, 1701 says that NO arms are allowed without consent of the Lebanese government. There is actually several violations here. Some of the provisions of 1701 that prove these are, in fact, violations of the cease-fire are as follows:

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. (Hezbollah didn’t allow Lebanon to deploy 1 violation)

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; (under those resolutions, Hezbollah should not exist nor should they have weapons 2 violations)

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;

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. (technically another violation, but we’ll count it with number 3 above)

8. Calls for Israel and Lebanon to support a permanent ceasefire and a long-term solution based on the following principles and elements: (not all listed)

— 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; (we know that Iranian Hezbollah forces joined Lebanon’s Hezbollah force, and I doubt they’ve left 1 violation)

In case you’re new to this debate, the Taif Accords and UN resolution 1559 say that Hezbollah is not allowed to exist, and it is illegal for them to still be an organization. Hezbollah 6, Israel 0.

Violation 7:
The two kidnapped Israeli soldiers still have not been returned to Israel.

The opening paragraphs of 1701 clearly call for their return in the following excerpt:

— 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. Hezbollah 7, Israel 0.

Violations 8-18:
AP Aug 14
Highlighting the fragility of the peace, Hezbollah guerrillas fired at least 10 Katyusha rockets that landed in southern Lebanon early Tuesday, the Israeli army said, adding that nobody was injured. The army said that none of the rockets, which were fired over a two-hour period, had crossed the border and so it had not responded.

If you read 1701, it’s pretty clear that each rocket is a violation of the resolution and cease-fire. Remember the very first provision?

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;

We have ten rockets, which equals ten hostile acts, which equals ten violations of UN security council resolution 1701. Hezbollah 18, Israel 0.

Violation 19:
AP
An Israeli officer was killed, and two soldiers wounded, when Israeli commandos raided a Hezbollah stronghold deep in Lebanon, resulting in a fierce gunbattle.

Israel said the raid was launched to stop arms smuggling from Iran and Syria to the militant Shiite fighters, while Lebanon’s Prime Minister Fuad Saniora called the operation a “flagrant violation” of the U.N. truce.

This is the one that Kofi ‘hell no’ Annan chose to respond to. He openly condemned Israel for their strike, which technically IS a violation of 1701, but ignored the previous eighteen violations by Hezbollah. I’d also like to point out that Kofi accused Israel of deliberately attacking a UNIFIL base, but said nothing when Hezbollah attacked a UNIFIL base. Since 1701 calls for Israel to stop all offensive operations we have to give them one point whether we support them or not, just to be fair. Hezbollah 18, Israel 1.

Violation 20:
Fox News (AP contributing) Aug 25
“It is generally accepted that the disarmament of Hezbollah cannot be done by force,” Annan told reporters. “The troops are not going there to disarm Hezbollah, let’s be clear on that.”

Wait a minute! UN security council resolution 1701 calls for the implementation of the Taif Accords, 1559, and 1680 under the new resolution. UNIFIL has been in southern Lebanon since 1978. Their mission is defined as, and confirmed on the UN’s website as follows:

The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, or UNIFIL, was created by the United Nations, with the adoption of Security Council Resolution 425 and 426 on 19 March 1978, to confirm Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon, restore the international peace and security, and help the Lebanese Government restore its effective authority in the area.

Defenddemocracy.org writes:

During the 28 years that UNIFIL was supposed to be restoring sovereignty to the government of Lebanon, Hezbollah was created, set up an autonomous statelet in southern Lebanon, acquired tens of thousands of rockets and missiles, and launched numerous terrorist assaults against Israel.

Even though Israel complied with its obligation to leave southern Lebanon, UNIFIL failed to bring about the remainder of its mandate. As a result, Hezbollah filled the void in southern Lebanon left by the absence of Israeli troops.

Why won’t the UN implement its own resolutions? How is the UN going to help Lebanon restore its effective authority in the area if they won’t disarm Hezbollah according to their own mandate? What possible effect could the new beefed up UNIFIL force have if they are not willing to disarm Hezbollah? When Hezbollah violates the cease-fire again, in yet another attempt to get Samir Kuntar back, will UNIFIL engage them? If Hezbollah and Lebanese forces get into a confrontation, will UNIFIL assist Lebanon? Perhaps they’ll assist Hezbollah instead.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus – Weekly Standard

DURING THE RECENT month-long war between Hezbollah and Israel, U.N. “peacekeeping” forces made a startling contribution: They openly published daily real-time intelligence, of obvious usefulness to Hezbollah, on the location, equipment, and force structure of Israeli troops in Lebanon.

UNIFIL–the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, a nearly 2,000-man blue-helmet contingent that has been present on the Lebanon-Israel border since 1978–is officially neutral. Yet, throughout the recent war, it posted on its website for all to see precise information about the movements of Israeli Defense Forces soldiers and the nature of their weaponry and materiel, even specifying the placement of IDF safety structures within hours of their construction. New information was sometimes only 30 minutes old when it was posted, and never more than 24 hours old.

Meanwhile, UNIFIL posted not a single item of specific intelligence regarding Hezbollah forces.

Is anyone really surprised? UNIFIL was created to prevent groups in southern Lebanon from launching terrorist attacks on Israel, and to make sure all Israeli forces pulled out. They only accomplished one of their mandates while allowing another to go unchecked. As a result, we have several years of attacks on Israel by Hezbollah. This last incident is just the latest in a long history of offensives by Hezbollah to kidnap Israelis in order to seek a prisoner exchange.

1701 also states:

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;

(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. New score: Hezbollah 18, Israel 1, United Nations 1.

Hezbollah has three demands of Israel.

– Cease to exist.
– Release all Lebanese, Palestinian, and terrorist prisoners
– Give Shebaa Farms to Lebanon.

All of these demands are unreasonable. 1701, however, does state that the Shebaa Farms issue must be addressed by Kofi Annan within thirty days with the following provision:

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;

If Kofi Annan doesn’t address Shebaa Farms within thirty days the UN will have violated its own resolution more than Israel.

UPDATE:

Via Drudge

The fighting between Israel and Hezbollah began after two Israeli soldiers were captured by the Islamic militant group. On Wednesday, a Hezbollah cabinet minister said that the guerrilla group will not release the two captured Israeli soldiers unconditionally, and that they would only be freed in a prisoner exchange.

“There will be no unconditional release. This is not possible,” Minister of Energy and Hydraulic Resources Mohammed Fneish said in Beirut. He is one of two Hezbollah members in Lebanon’s Cabinet.

“There should be an exchange through indirect negotiations. This is the principle to which Hezbollah and the resistance are adhering,” he said.

Remember that after Hezbollah launched Operation Truthful Promise this July 12, and kidnapped the IDF soldiers, they called for a prisoner exchange which was officially rejected by Olmert. If they get the prisoner exchange they desired in the first place you can officially label this a victory for Hezbollah over Israel. If Israel caves, and agrees to a prisoner exchange with Hezbollah, everything they did was in vain. The deaths that resulted on all sides would be for nothing.

I’ll leave it up to you if this counts as another violation of 1701 by Hezbollah. However, since the Minister of Energy and Hydraulic Resources is a legitimate member of Lebanon’s government, I am left with one conclusion. New score: Hezbollah 18, Israel 1, United Nations 1, Lebanon 1.

UPDATE 2:

Aug 30, 2006

Haaretz Service and News Agencies

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Tuesday that Israel was responsible for most of the violations of the UN-brokered cease-fire that ended the 34-day conflict between Israel and Hezbollah two weeks ago.

Really? Let’s refer back to exhibit A, shall we? The current scorecard for violations sits at: Hezbollah 18, Israel 1, United Nations 1, Lebanon 1. The defense rests.

When Israel launched its raid in Lebanon after the cease-fire they drew critisism from Kofi Annan who had remained silent in the midst of other violations.

“The Secretary-General is deeply concerned about a violation by the Israeli side of the cessation of hostilities as laid out in Security Council resolution 1701,” a statement issued by Annan’s spokesperson said.

He’s deeply concerned about A violation on ISRAEL’S side. Perhaps he should be concerned about the violations on the terrorist’s side, or better yet, his own.

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