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Sunday, September 03, 2006

Lebanon plans to 'integrate' Hezbullah into army and sue Israel for 'compensation'

In my not-so-humble opinion, this story is mis-headlined by YNet. The YNet headline says "Lebanon says won’t join talks over kidnapped IDF troops" and the link on the homepage says 'We can't control Hezbullah.' Neither of which is surprising. The real news here is the following statement by Lebanese 'culture minister' Tarek Mitri:

Asked whether the government would seek to disarm Hizbullah, as Israel has demanded, he said there would “Not be a coercive disarmament” of the group.

Instead, the government would seek to engage Hizbullah in a “Political process.”


The government realized it needed to integrate Hizbullah forces into the Lebanese army in order to be a sovereign state with a monopoly of arms, said Mitri. But he warned only political means would achieve that end, and the alternative - coercion - would lead the country back into civil war.
I've seen speculation to that effect before, but I think this is the first time I have seen it in print from an official representative of the Lebanese government.

The government also plans to demand compensation from Israel for its bombing of the Lebanon’s civilian infrastructure, which Mitri said had torn the country “To shreds.”

Asking for compensation “is not an easy battle,” he said, “But it is a battle we are going to fight.” “I think asking for compensation is important in itself,” he said.

Mitri said that international organizations had indicated Israel did not comply with international conventions on the conduct of war, and Lebanon would look into taking its case to the International Criminal Court.
Fortunately, Israel 'unsigned' the International Criminal Court treaty. Bill Clinton signed it in 1998, and Ehud Barak Barach, went along with him. But luckily, George Bush came into office and refused to submit it for ratification and both the US and Israel 'unsigned' it, and have indicated that they do not intend to ratify it.

Of course, just because Israel is a sovereign state and has the right to refuse to submit to the jurisdiction of international tribunals has not stopped us from being sued before. Recall that the 'international court of justice' heard the fence case without Israel having submitted to its jurisdiction. And you wonder why I get so ticked off at the likes of Ken Roth and 'Human Rights Watch' unjustly accusing Israel of 'war crimes'?


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