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Saturday, March 31, 2007

Ban Ki-Moon tells Lebanese government Israel provided evidence of Hezbullah arms smuggling

On a visit to Lebanon, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon told Lebanese security chiefs that Israel provided "evidence and pictures" of trucks crossing from Syria to Lebanon and unloading weapons. The evidence comes from those reconnaissance missions that Lebanon and the UN classify as violating UN Resolution 1701. You may recall that French UNIFIL troops even threatened to shoot them down. But the Lebanese government insists that no weapons are crossing the border.
Prime Minister Fuad Saniora, who is opposed to Hizbullah and Syrian influence, said at a news conference with Ban in Beirut on Friday that the Lebanese government was trying to improve its monitoring capabilities but stressed that "not one single case of arms smuggling across the border" with Syria has been recorded.

His defense minister, Elias Murr, recently said that not a "single mosquito" is getting across the border, adding that Hizbullah did not need to resupply. On Friday, the defense minister again dismissed reports of arms smuggling through Syria as "not true."

But Hizbullah has boasted that it replenished its stockpile of rockets after the war.

Israeli warplanes have continued to fly reconnaissance missions over Lebanon though Beirut and the United Nations consider them a violation of the cease-fire and have demanded Israel stop the overflights. Israel has refused, saying they are vital intelligence-gathering missions. But an internal Israeli military document has said the flights are intended in part to pressure the international community to stop arms smuggling to Hizbullah guerrillas and release the two abducted Israeli soldiers.
I've said before that if Fouad Siniora wanted to survive in power, he would be a lot better off acting in concert with Israel. Too bad he can't or won't see it.


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