Photo: API
Lebanese Defense Minister Elias Murr
Photo: API
Photo: AP
Hizbullah gunman
Photo: AP

Lebanon: We seized arms from Hizbullah

Lebanese defense minister confirms his country has seized weapons from terror group, as first step towards implementation of UN Resolution 1701. 'It is our duty to confiscate the arms,' Minister Murr says, adds Hizbullah is cooperating

The Lebanese army has begun implementing UN Resolution 1701 on the ceasefire in southern Lebanon, and has recently seized weapons from Hizbullah gunmen, Lebanese Defense Minister Elias Murr stated in a press conference held in Beirut Tuesday.


Murr noted that "It's a natural thing, it's our duty to confiscate the weapons. The Lebanese army is stationed in the south of the country in order to defend the border and prevent any other military body from operating there. What we are able to say is that the resistance organization (Hizbullah – R.N.) is cooperating and avoiding all military presence in the south of the country." However, Murr did not report what amount of arms was confiscated and where.


Last week, the UN has issued new guidelines for its force regarding the rules of engagement in southern Lebanon.


The new rules of engagement grant the troops the authority to use force against hostile activity of any kind, whether in self-defense, to ensure their area of operations is not used for hostile activities or to resist attempts by force to prevent them from discharging their duties.


“Should the situation present any risk of resumption of hostile activities, UNIFIL rules of engagement allow UN forces to respond as required," UNIFIL said in a statement.


The effective meaning of the decision is that the peacekeepers deployed in Lebanon would be allowed to operate not only in self-defense, but also to thwart Hizbullah attempts to operate in the area or fire rockets at Israel.


The UN has so far sent 5,200 troops to Lebanon, out of a task force that is set to include some 15,000 soldiers. In a statement published by the UN after the IDF has completed its withdrawal from Lebanese territory , the organization said that in the meantime temporary checkpoints have been erected within the area of operations, and that permanent checkpoints are being established by the Lebanese army.


פרסום ראשון: 10.10.06, 18:18
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