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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Proof that UNIFIL is useless

The pride and joy of foreign minister Tzipi Feigele Livni, her great diplomatic 'accomplishment' during the Second Lebanon War, backed down from a confrontation with Hezbullah last month when they found the group transporting a truck full of weapons across Lebanon.
The incident was referred to briefly in a semi-yearly report submitted to the UN Security Council by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. The incident was the first time that UNIFIL forces were confronted by armed Hezbollah men south of Lebanon's Litani River, an area which Security Council resolution 1701 prohibits Hezbollah from entering.

According to a government source in Jerusalem, the incident caused great embarrassment for UNIFIL. The source described the incident, explaining that UNIFIL troops on patrol discovered the truck and chased it down and pulled it over. When the UNIFIL troops approached the vehicle, the source said, armed Hezbollah men exited the truck and threatened the troops at gunpoint. The UNIFIL patrol then went back into their cars, according to the source, and returned to their base.

The report submitted to the Security Council said the incident occurred on the night between the 30 and 31 of March. "This serious violation of the UN resolution raises concerns," the report said.

The incident was not reported in the media at the time of its occurrence.

Israeli security officials believe that Hezbollah forces are usually found in areas where the organization enjoys centralized civilian support. There are many areas that answer to that description in south Lebanon because most of the residents in the south of the country are Shiite Muslims, who support Hezbollah.
Forgive me, but I'm impressed that they were patrolling at night at all. /sarc

But Arutz Sheva reports that the UNIFIL farce may soon be coming to an end. With the re-accession to power of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, Italy is demanding that the rules of engagement be changed to be more realistic.
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi announced last week that he would be reviewing the rules of engagement for the 2,500 Italian soldiers serving in the UN force, saying the troops were being prevented from reacting to certain situations. "We pledge our support for the strengthening of democracy (in Lebanon)," he said, "but we want to look at the rules of engagement. Our soldiers find themselves in a unique situation...because they cannot react. We will re-examine the rules of engagement."

The Hizbullah-led opposition in Lebanon warned against amending UNIFIL's rules of engagement, saying that it would change it into "occupation forces." The use of that language is meant to signal that Hizbullah terrorists would begin targeting UN forces in attacks.

"Any amendment would give the international forces the jurisdiction to use force and erect checkpoints outside its area of deployment," the statement said. "That would transcend on the Lebanese Army's authorities, and would change these forces' mandate from observing implementation of resolution 1701 to occupation forces."
And you know that the first time that UNIFIL troops are targeted by Hezbullah, they are going to run away faster than you can say Ban Ki-Moon.


At 7:14 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

The UNIFIL farce is entirely Ehud Olmert's fault. He needed a fig leave to escape blame for losing the war. So much for all the qrandiloquent talk of destroying Hezbollah and rendering its arsenal of deadly weapons impotent. It was never the UN's job to protect Israel.


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