Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Lebanese government compromise would allow Hezbollah to keep weapons in south

From Ha'aretz, 15/8/06, by Yoav Stern and Amos Harel, Haaretz Correspondents, and News Agencies [emphasis added] ...

A compromise agreement now being hammered out between Hezbollah and the Lebanese government would allow the Shi'ite guerillas to keep hidden weapons in south Lebanon, the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper reported on Tuesday. While Hezbollah would need to keep the weapons it possesses south of the Litani River hidden, an agreement for areas north of the river would be "left to a long term solution," the paper reported.

If the proposed compromise is accepted Tuesday by the Lebanese government, it would violate the terms of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701 ending the war in Lebanon. The resolution rules that the Lebanese army and UNIFIL may be the only armed forces in the territory between the Litani River south to the Israeli border.

This compromise is also a violation of the "one weapon" principle that appears in Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora's Seven Points Plan.

... Lebanon's Defense Minister Elias Murr said the Lebanese army would send 15,000 troops to the north of the Litani River around the end of the week, ready to enter the southern border area. But he said the army would not be disarming Hezbollah, who have controlled the area for six years. "The army is not going to the south to strip Hezbollah of weapons and do the work Israel did not," he told LBC Television."The resistance is cooperating to the utmost level so that as soon as the Lebanese army arrives in the south there will be no weapons but those of the army." ....

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