The U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution Friday that calls for an end to the war on Lebanon, and authorizes the U.N. to deploy "peacekeeping" forces to help Lebanese troops take control of south as
Accommodating few Lebanese demands, the resolution leaves out Lebanon’s key demands which makes it slightly different from the original draft hammered by France and the
The resolution does not demand
One of the most important demands by the Lebanese people is a complete Israeli withdrawal from the occupied land in southern Lebanon.
Israel’s request for an entirely new multinational force separate from the U.N. peacekeepers that have been stationed in south
On the other hand, the unconditional release of the two Israeli soldiers captured by Hezbollah is not listed among the steps required for a lasting cease-fire.
Observers fear that Israel would continue its attacks against claiming that these attacks are defensive a long as the two soldiers are held captive.
Hezbollah said the two soldiers will be freed only in a swap of prisoners’ deal with Israel.
Lbanon’s acting foreign minister, Tarek Mitri, suggested that his nation would accept the resolution though he said its call for a cessation of fighting could not be implemented. He criticized it for allowing Israel to continue military operations.
"A cease-fire that by its terms cannot be implemented is no cease-fire," Mitri said. "A cease-fire that retains the right for one side the right not to cease firing is not a cease-fire."
Lebanon’s Cabinet is to meet Saturday to discuss the resolution, but U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the Lebanese government assured her that it supported the text.
Additionally, there is also no call for the release of Lebanese prisoners held by
Prior to endorsing the resolution, spokesperson of the Israeli Prime Minister’s office said its attacks against Lebanon will continue and may expand, at least until Sunday, when the cabinet will meet to endorse the resolution. Long columns of Israeli tanks, troops and armored personnel carriers streamed over the border early Saturday.
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said he planned to meet Lebanese and Israeli officials as soon as possible to determine the exact date of a cease-fire.
With tough language in remarks before the vote, Annan said hundreds of millions of people around the world shared his frustration that the council had taken so long to act. That inaction has "badly shaken the world’s faith in its authority and integrity," he said.
"I would be remiss if I did not tell you how profoundly disappointed I am that the council did not reach this point much, much earlier," he said.
The resolution gives Annan one week to report back on how well it has been implemented. The council leaves open the possibility of another resolution to further enhance the United Nations International Force in Lebanon’s (UNIFIL) mandate and other steps to achieve a permanent cease-fire.