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Monday, March 5, 2007

Lebanon: How good is the cease fire?

To say that the UN-imposed cease fire in Lebanon is not working very well would be a gross understatement. Most of the key provisions of UN Security Council Resulution 1701 are not fulfilled. The Lebanese army was deployed in South Lebanon, a goal of Israel and the UN since 2000, but those whom the Gods wish to confound are often granted their wishes...
As the report notes:
The quiet and lack of incidents that have prevailed in south Lebanon since the end of the second Lebanon war are to a great extent a function of Hezbollah's focus on rearming.
The quiet before the storm?

Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center
at the Israel Intelligence' Heritage & Commemoration Center (IICC)

March 4 , 2007

Interim report

UNIFIL side by side with Hezbollah: a Spanish battalion UNIFIL force passing by a poster of Hassan Nasrallah decorated with Hezbollah flags in the village of Addoussiyeh in south Lebanon (Ali Hashisho for Reuters, February 8, 2007).

1. An examination of the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1701 six months after its passing shows that that implementation to be only partial and that the Lebanese army and UNIFIL have not enforced its essential provisions . Basically, south Lebanon has not become a demilitarized zone free of terrorist organizations and their weapons, Hezbollah as an organization was not disarmed, the process of rehabilitating its military strength continues, and an effective embargo on smuggling arms from Syria to Lebanon has not been imposed. The quiet prevailing in south Lebanon since the war ended is to a great extent a function of Hezbollah's focus on rehabilitating its military strength. In our assessment, as the rehabilitation process continues and Hezbollah's confidence increases, so will its daring and willingness to continue disregarding the implementation of Resolution 1701.

Interim report on the implementation of Resolution 1701

2. On August 12, 2006, the Security Council passed Resolution 1701, which ended the second Lebanon war and was supposed to create a new situation in south Lebanon . The resolution went into effect on August 14, after having been approved by the governments of Israel and Lebanon . 1

3. The Resolution had two main components :

A. Regarding south Lebanon (especially the area south of the Litani River): security arrangements in south Lebanon were based on the deployment of up to 15,000 Lebanese troops concurrent with the withdrawal of the Israeli forces to the international boundary between the two countries (the Blue Line). The Lebanese army was supposed to enforce the authority of the Lebanese government over south Lebanon , where there was supposed to be only one source of weapons, the Lebanese government, and to rid the area of the presence and activities of Hezbollah and other terrorist groups. To carry out the mission the Lebanese army was to be supported by an upgraded UNIFIL force of up to 15,000 soldiers.

B. Regarding north Lebanon : the resolution called for the disarming of Hezbollah and other terrorist groups (without specifically naming them) based on previous Security Council resolutions and internal Lebanese decisions (mainly the 1989 Taif agreement). The agreement imposed an embargo on delivering arms to Hezbollah (and other terrorist groups) and called for the Lebanese government to supervise the Lebanon borders (on land, at sea and in the air) with UNIFIL support (should the Lebanese government so desire). The resolution also calls for the unconditional release of the Israeli soldiers abducted by Hezbollah.

4. An examination of the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1701 shows the following :

A. Regarding south Lebanon : an unprecedented Lebanese army force was deployed (approximately 10,000 soldiers, i.e., four brigades), supported by an upgraded UNIFIL force of more than 12,000 soldiers. Their deployment created a new situation on the ground and Hezbollah is no longer the only significant force operating in south Lebanon . So far the area has been quiet (with the exception of a single incident) because Hezbollah, which focuses on rebuilding its military strength, has avoided initiating incidents. However, the Lebanon army and UNIFIL do not act to demilitarize south Lebanon and to oust the terrorist organizations and their weapons, as demanded by Resolution 1701, nor do they effectively hamper Hezbollah in its military rehabilitation. Hezbollah continues its routine operational activities in south Lebanon while adapting to the new situation, enabling it to deal easily with Lebanese army and UNIFIL actions.

B. Regarding north Lebanon : Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations (including groups belonging to the global jihad and the Palestinian terrorist organizations based in the refugee camps) were not disarmed. No serious attempt was made by the Lebanese government to deal with them. In Beirut and the Beqa'a Valley (as in the south), Hezbollah's military infrastructure continues its rehabilitation with no meaningful interference. The embargo on delivering weapons to Hezbollah is not enforced and arms continue regularly to cross the Syrian-Lebanese boundary. (The Lebanese army's impounding of a truckload of Katyushas was an exceptional act and not part of an overall policy.) The two abducted IDF soldiers held by Hezbollah are still in captivity and the Lebanese government does nothing to secure their release.

5. The crisis faced by the Lebanese government over the past few months, manifested by Hezbollah's efforts to collapse Fuad Seniora's government, also makes it difficult to enforce Security Council Resolution 1701. The Lebanese government is struggling to survive and avoids challenging Hezbollah's status in south Lebanon , and the Lebanese army has even had to move troops from the south to Beirut to deal with the internal crisis. The developments have an impact and are liable to influence UNIFIL's resolve to carry out its mission in supporting the Lebanese army in implementing Security Council Resolution 1701.

6. The quiet and lack of incidents that have prevailed in south Lebanon since the end of the second Lebanon war are to a great extent a function of Hezbollah's focus on rearming. However, the situation may change, and in our assessment the more progress Hezbollah makes, the more daring and willing it will become to initiative incidents and increase the erosion of the implementation of Resolution 1701. Hassan Nasrallah's growing self-confidence was manifested in a defiant speech given on February 16, in which he publicly admitted the his organization was rearming and secretly moving weapons to south Lebanon . 2

Hassan Nasrallah publicly admitting that Hezbollah has rearmed and is secretly moving weapons to south Lebanon (Al-Manar TV, February 16).

Hassan Nasrallah publicly admitting that Hezbollah has rearmed and is secretly moving weapons to south Lebanon (Al-Manar TV, February 16).

UNIFIL operations along the Lebanese-Israeli border (Al-Manar TV, October 24, 2006). The UNIFIL forces avoid confronting Hezbollah to enforce Security Council Resolution 1701.

7. This document has two appendices:

A. Appendix I : A comparison between the main points of Resolution 1701 and its implementation (as of February 2007)

B. Appendix II : Maps of the Lebanese army and UNIFIL deployment in south Lebanon

Appendix I

The main provisions of Security Council Resolution 1701
and the status of their implementation

Omitted here

Appendix II

UNIFIL deployment in south Lebanon

Lebanon army deployment in south Lebanon


1 For further information see our August 13 Bulletin entitled "Analysis of UN Security Council Resolution 1701 to end the war and an examination of its significance (primary evaluation)," .

2 For further information see our February 23 Bulletin entitled "Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah publicly admits that his organization is rearming and secretly transporting arms to south Lebanon, in blatant violation of Security Council Resolution 1701. ," .

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors. Originally posted at Please do link to these articles, quote from them and forward them by email to friends with this notice. Other uses require written permission of the author.


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