Photo: Reuters
UN Security Council
Photo: Reuters

UN resolution 1701 - a quarter-filled glass

Can Israel change the imminent direction the UN resolution appears to be taking via efforts of diplomacy that do not hinge on significant military successes?

The UN Security Council's resolution presents fertile ground for Hizbullah to prepare for the next war. It also presents an optimistic interpretation for potential change, as hoped by Israel. The question is which of these options will gain momentum.


True, the international community recognized the fact that Hizbullah was responsible for this war – which in itself is a great achievement. True, Hizbullah  agreeing to deploy the Lebanese army and the UN forces in southern Lebanon is proof that the group's capabilities have been severely damaged, and that it feared the continuation of the IDF's ground assault – is also a real achievement.


True, the general declaration of intent is the execution of resolution 1559, including the militia's disarmament - an important clause that will serve as a basis for the international community's future operations.


However, vis-à-vis this "quarter-filled glass," we would do well to look at the whole glass - and it happens to be empty.


Resolution does not call for  immediate return of abducted soldiers


Firstly, the resolution does not call for the immediate return of the two abducted soldiers. Clauses that appeared to be acceptable by the international community and served as a basic condition for the entire ceasefire have dissipated.


Secondly, a timeframe for carrying out the clauses of the resolution has not been set, not for the disarmament of Hizbullah nor for the deployment of forces south of the Litani River. In the current situation, whereby the army has not completed its operations, it will be difficult for the Lebanese army to implement such processes on the ground.


Hizbullah is fully aware of this, and will take full advantage of the ambiguousness in its negotiations with the Lebanese government and in its friction with UNIFIL. UNIFI'ls past history doesn't show determination on their part.


Thirdly, the UN forces do not have a clear and precise mandate, not regarding its duties (for example, is it permitted to open fire in order to destroy a Katyusha warehouse?) and nor regarding its role (does locating and destroying such warehouses constitute part of its role?). The crux of the UN resolution is vaguely phrased, and doesn't do justice to Israel's security requirements.


A vague text


The vagueness of the resolution is even worse in light of the fact that the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan is responsible for its implementation on the ground. Annan is the person behind UNIFI'ls incompetence and the lack of its willingness to take action against Iran's nuclear armament.


He is the man whose emissaries accused Israel for the "massacre" in the Jenin refugee camp, he is the man who shook Nasralla's hand in Beirut, and he was the man who dared say that the IDF deliberately struck at UN forces.


Moreover, no international body has been appointed to prevent further arms shipments from Syria and Iran. The resolution leaves this up to the Lebanese government. Therefore, we can ascertain that from the moment the ceasefire goes into effect, new weapons will find their way into the hands of Hizbullah, while the IDF is prevented from attacking such convoys.


The Shabaa Farms - further concessions?


The resolution also leaves open Hizbullah's demand for recognition of Har Dov (Shaaba Farms) as occupied Lebanese territory open for debate. It is reasonable to assume that within the framework of negotiations, in which Annan would like to take part, this will be one of the areas in which Israel will be asked to make further concessions.


Perhaps we couldn't have achieved much more, but this is by no means a "good agreement," as termed by both the prime minister and the foreign minister.


We shouldn't permit political spins and declarations to confuse us, even if the commentators paint a rosy picture. Can Israel change the imminent direction the text of the UN resolution appears to be taking through efforts of diplomacy that do not hinge on significant military successes?


פרסום ראשון: 08.15.06, 22:25
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