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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

What if the 'Umma' refused to disarm and the 'infidels' attacked?

In light of the reported deal yesterday between Crying Fuad Siniora and Hassan Nasrallah that Hezbullah would keep their arms hidden south of the Litani, and that they would come to an agreement 'later' north of the Litani, an official in the Prime Minister's office said that Israel would have to resume the war if the Lebanese army did not disarm Hezbullah.
"The resolution is clear that Hizbullah needs to be removed from the border area, embargoed and dismantled," the official said. "If the resolution is not implemented, we will have to take action to prevent the rearming of Hizbullah. I don't think backtracking will serve any useful purpose. There has to be pressure on Hizbullah to disarm or there will have to be another round."
Israel's foreign minister, Tzippi Livni, is to raise the issue with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan when she meets with him in New York later today. Glad to hear that Livni is still getting her shopping trip and hope the sale at Bloomingdale's hasn't ended yet.

Annan angered Israeli officials when he told Channel 2 news last night that "dismantling Hizbullah is not the direct mandate of the UN," which could only help Lebanon disarm the organization. Annan upset officials further when he said that deploying international forces in Lebanon would take "weeks or months," and not days as expected.

Israel has said that it will not withdraw from Lebanon until the international forces are in place.

In an interview with HaAretz, Major General Alain Pellegrini, who heads the UNIFIL force, urged the Lebanese authorities to take responsibility for the disarmament of Hezbollah in the area close to the Lebanon-Israel border, saying that the responsibility for such a move lies primarily with them. He also called for the United Nations to enable his force to take "strong measures" in order to enforce UN resolution 1701. But when asked whether his soldiers would engage an armed Hezbullah activist, Pellegrini hesitated:
It was possible, he said, but it would depend on the rules of engagement. He said that he would prefer that the UNIFIL troops had the ability to employ "strong measures" to enforce the UN resolution.
Pellegrini said he expects an advance force, most likely from France, to arrive in the region next week, in order to bolster the current deployment. Within several months, he said, another 15,000 troops would be deployed from a number of countries. Since Israel has said that it will not leave southern Lebanon until the troops are in place, it sounds like the IDF will be there for a while. Meanwhile, Israel radio just reported that the IDF expects to be out of Lebanon within ten days. Sounds like the right hand doesn't know what the left is doing.


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