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Annan. 'Deeply concerned'
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Larsen: Israel violated ceasefire
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Prime Minister Ehud Olmert
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Annan: Israeli raid in Lebanon violates truce
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan says Israeli raid in Lebanon on Saturday makes him 'deeply concerned.' Annan relays to PM Olmert complaints from Lebanon that Israel raid on Bekaa region violates ceasefire agreement

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said an Israeli raid in Lebanon on Saturday violated the UN-backed truce and made him "deeply concerned."

 

"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 spokesman for Annan said in a statement posted on the UN website. "The incident involved an Israeli raid in eastern Lebanon on Saturday."

 

Israel said the commando attack on a Hizbullah stronghold in eastern Lebanon was defensive and was designed to disrupt weapons supplies to Hizbullah from Syria and Iran.

 

Annan relayed to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert complaints from Lebanon that a raid Saturday on the country's eastern Bekaa region.

 

"Prime Minister Olmert said the activity was intended to prevent the re-supply of new weapons and ammunition for Hizbullah. The prime minister pointed to the importance of the supervision of the Syrian-Lebanese border," the officials said.

 

They spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak to the media. The ceasefire agreement calls for a halt in arms shipments to Hizbullah, which is backed by neighboring

Syria.

 

During a phone conversation, the men discussed efforts in deploying a 15,000 member international peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon to help enforce the truce, the Israeli officials said.

 

'Israel breached ceasefire'

 

The UN envoy to the Middle East Terje Larsen said on Saturday if media reports about an Israeli raid in Lebanon were true, it would constitute a clear violation of the UN-brokered truce that halted the war between Israel and Hizbullah.

 

"We had no independent means to verify ... what has happened. But if what has been reported is correct, it is of course a clear violation of the ceasefire," Terje Larsen told Lebanon's LBC television. Larsen met Saturday with a series of senior officials in Lebanon including the prime minister, defense minister, and the foreign minister and he is expected to arrive in Israel Sunday with the senior advisor of the UN envoys to the Middle East, Vijay Ambiar.

 

Earlier, the Prime Minister's Office said that the commando operation was necessary, and not against the ceasefire: "The operation was necessary because Hizbullah is violating the ceasefire by smuggling Syrian and Iranian arms, which is against the agreement."

 

The White House announced that it will not condemn the IDF operation Friday night in the town of Baalbek in Lebanon, as reported by Sky News. Swedish Foreign Minister Jan Eliasson sharply condemned the IDF action Friday night in the town of Baalbek in Lebanon, and said, "It is probable that this will hurt the application of UN Resolution 1701. The Israeli action is likely to provoke a response from Hizbullah and the renewal of hostilities."

 

Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora condemned the operation saying, "It is a naked violation of the cessation of hostilities declared by the Security Council," Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora told reporters, referring to the Aug. 11 resolution. He said he had protested to visiting UN envoys.

 

Ronny Sofer contributed to this report

 


פרסום ראשון: 08.19.06, 21:13
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