[Dr. Aaron Lerner – IMRA: The folks at the Israel Foreign Ministry declined to share with their readers that the resolution: #1 Does not require the release of the Israeli hostages. #2 Includes no time element for the disarming of Hizbullah (this while the resolution is peppered with phrases such as “as soon as possible”, “urgently”, “immediate steps”). #3 Provides for UNIFIL to protect human shields (“authorizes UNIFIL to… without prejudice to the responsibility of the Government of Lebanon, to protect civilians under imminent threat of physical violence”) #2 + #3 = formula for armed conflict between the IDF and UNIFIL.

This and more.

Question: If you are preparing a press release and know that there are problems with the UNSC resolution why hide them when the odds are good that you will later find yourself trying to explain to the very same audience about the problems with the UNSC resolution when the situation sours?

Wouldn’t it be more honest to say: “there are good points and bad points to the resolution as detailed below. The Government of Israel will meet on Sunday to decide if, after due consideration, the resolution should be accepted.”?]

Behind the Headlines: UN Security Council Resolution 1701 Information Department, Israel Foreign Ministry – Jerusalem Website: http://www.mfa.gov.il E-mail: feedback@mfa.gov.il Jerusalem, 12 August 2006

UN Security Council Resolution 1701, adopted on 11 August 2006, contains the essential elements that Israel believes can build a more stable and secure situation and will prevent Hizbullah from ever again being able to create the sort of regional crisis we have witnessed in the past month.

The preamble of the resolution: – clearly puts the blame for the current crisis on Hizbullah – calls for the unconditional release of the Israeli hostages, and – calls for the implementation of UNSC 1559

In the operative paragraphs, the resolution: – calls for the cessation of all Hizbullah armed attacks – creates a new, strengthened UNIFIL (15,000 troops) – gives UNIFIL a improved mandate (to take “all necessary action” to prevent hostile activities of any kind in its area of operations) – calls that there be no armed groups, foreign or domestic (ie armed Hizbullah militia or Syrian and Iranian military advisors) in Lebanon – establishes an embargo of weapons to Lebanese groups other than the government, enforced by UNIFIL (at airports, seaports and border crossings), and forbids Hizbullah armed elements from returning to Southern Lebanon, from the Blue Line to the Litani River.

Thus the resolution contains the fundamental elements which Government of Israel set out to achieve following Hizbullah’s unprovoked cross border attack and bombardment on 12 July: – the return of its hostages – the removal of the Hizbullah threat to northern Israeli cities, and – the implementation of UNSC Resolution 1559 calling for Lebanon extend its sovereignty to all its territory, deploy its army south to the Israel-Lebanon border and disarm Hizbullah.

Israel expects the international community to take all the concrete steps required in order to bring about the full and effective implementation of the resolution just adopted.