Photo: AP
Mitri. Immediate ceasefire
Photo: AP
Photo: AP
UN Security Council
Photo: AP
Photo: Reuters
Gillerman. Critical test
Photo: Reuters

Gillerman: Crisis is about terror, not territory

Arab League delegation accuses UN Security Council of standing by idly while weeks of fighting between Israel, Hizbullah sow 'seeds of hatred and extremism' in Middle East. Israel's UN ambassador says critical test faced by council is whether it can adopt course of action which will end threat Hizbullah, its sponsors pose to Israel, Lebanon

An Arab League delegation accused the Security Council on Tuesday of standing by idly while weeks of fighting between Israel and Lebanon's Hizbullah sow "the seeds of hatred and extremism" in the Middle East.



There was "a danger of civil war in Lebanon" if the council adopted a resolution aimed at ending the conflict without fully considering its ramifications, said Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabr al-Thani, the head of a three-man Arab League delegation.


The Arab League team was in New York to ask the 15-nation council to amend a US-French draft resolution aimed at a truce in the four-week conflict.

Before Meeting: Kofi Annan and Amr Moussa (R) (Photo: AP)


The delegation flew to New York from an Arab foreign ministers meeting in Beirut on Monday at which Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora said the resolution would do little to quell the violence.


"It is most saddening that the council stands idly by, crippled, unable to stop the blood bath which has become the bitter daily lot of the defenseless Lebanese people," the Qatari foreign minister told the council.


"What is happening will sow the seeds of hatred and extremism in the area and provide a pretext for those who feel that the international community is taking sides and lacks fairness as to this dispute," he said.


Lebanon's acting foreign minister, Tareq Mitri, said the draft resolution not only fell short of meeting many of his government's demands "but it may not bring about the results the international community wants."


'Strong and robust international force'


He said Lebanon needed an immediate cease-fire and a quick withdrawal of Israeli forces and he also requested "the assistance of additional forces to enhance the United Nations force" in southern Lebanon.


"More than 900 lives ago, we asked for an immediate cease-fire," Mitri said. "More than 3,000 injured civilians ago, we asked for an immediate cease-fire."


But Israel's UN Ambassador Dan Gillerman said the critical test faced by the council was not whether it could adopt a resolution but "whether the council and international community can adopt a course of action ... which will end the threat that Hizbullah and its sponsors pose to Israel and Lebanon."


"The issue in this crisis is not territory but terror," he said, accusing Iran and Syria of training and funding Hizbullah fighters and directing their actions.


An acceptable settlement of the crisis would also require "a strong and robust international force," Gillerman added.


פרסום ראשון: 08.09.06, 00:32
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