12 August 2006

Hezbollah Will Comply...

Now, let us see how the Israelis choose to behave. What will they do...?


Hezbollah 'Will Observe UN Truce'

Hezbollah's leader has said his group will abide by a ceasefire plan agreed at the UN to end fighting with Israel.

However, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah said on TV that Hezbollah would continue fighting as long as Israeli soldiers remained in Lebanon.

The UN resolution called for a "full cessation of hostilities".

But Israel has since tripled its troops in south Lebanon and Israeli radio says some have reached the key strategic target of the Litani River.

Israel's Cabinet will discuss the UN resolution on Sunday and says it will only halt military action after taking a vote.

'War not ended'

On Hezbollah's al-Manar TV channel on Saturday, Sheikh Nasrallah said the UN resolution was "unfair" in holding his group responsible for the fighting.

The Security Council emphasises the need for an end of violence, but at the same time emphasises the need to address urgently the causes that have given rise to the current crisis
UN resolution text

But he added: "We will not be an obstacle to any decision taken by the Lebanese government."

And referring to Israel's insistence it has the right to continue military operations in Lebanon in self-defence, Sheikh Nasrallah said: "As long as there is Israeli aggression, it is our right to fight them and defend our land."

He added: "The war has not ended. There have been continued strikes and continued casualties. Today nothing has changed and it appears tomorrow nothing will change."

Sheikh Nasrallah said Hezbollah would co-operate with the deployment of UN and Lebanese troops in the south.

The BBC's Nick Childs in Beirut says this appears a very conditional acceptance, aimed at maintaining Lebanese political unity.

The Lebanese Cabinet is meeting to discuss the UN truce but ahead of the talks, Prime Minister Fouad Siniora indicated he would back it, saying: "This resolution shows that the whole world stood by Lebanon."

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is also asking his Cabinet to endorse the resolution, describing it as positive and acceptable.

More than 1,000 Lebanese and more than 120 Israelis have been killed in the conflict since Hezbollah militants captured two Israeli soldiers on 12 July in a cross-border raid.

Hilltop Village

Israel's army chief, Lt Gen Dan Halutz, said on Saturday Israeli troops would remain in Lebanon until the arrival of a UN peacekeeping force - expected to be 15,000-strong.

Gen Halutz did not give a figure for the new number of Israeli troops currently in Lebanon, but Israeli sources put it at about 30,000.

Israeli radio on Saturday quoted the head of the northern command, Maj-Gen Udi Adam, as saying "some of the forces have reached the line of the Litani" - up to 30km (18 miles) from the Israeli border.

Israel confirmed seven of its soldiers were killed and more than 50 wounded in the fighting on Saturday.

The Israeli army said it had airlifted hundreds of troops by helicopter into positions in south Lebanon.

Several sources confirm heavy clashes between Israeli troops and Hezbollah fighters at the village of Ghandouriyeh, 11km inside Lebanon.

Israeli jets also raided the city of Sidon - north of the Litani - destroying facilities at a power station. It is only the second time Sidon has been hit in the conflict, which began more than four weeks ago.

According to Lebanese security sources, up to 15 people were killed in an Israeli air strike on the village of Rshaf in south Lebanon.

Israel has said it has killed more than 40 Hezbollah fighters in the past 24 hours.

Hezbollah has also fired more rockets into northern Israel, but Israeli sources say the number is far fewer than in recent days.

The UN special envoy to the Middle East, Alvaro de Soto, said he expected Israel to wind down its operations in the next couple of days. No timetable has been agreed on the truce.

UN Security Council resolution 1701 says Hezbollah must end attacks on Israel while Israel must end "offensive military operations" in Lebanese territory.

On Saturday, US President George W Bush praised the UN move, adding: "I now urge the international community to turn words into action and make every effort to bring lasting peace to the region."

Mr Bush also added more condemnation of Hezbollah, saying it shared the same "totalitarian ideology" as those arrested in a suspected plot to blow up US-bound jets from Britain.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2006/08/12 16:41:30 GMT



Post a Comment

<< Home