While a continued ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah is reliant on the quick deployment of a peacekeeping force and the withdrawal of Israeli soldiers, the Lebanese army has neither the manpower nor the military resources to manage Hezbollah, disarm it or defend itself from possible future Israeli attacks.

With this current dilemma and Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Dan Halutz’s statement Wednesday that Israeli forces may have to remain in Lebanon until Lebanese soldiers arrive and Hezbollah’s refusal to disarm, the already tenuous ceasefire could break any moment.

The deployment of an international peacekeeping force depends on Hezbollah’s disarmament, which is considered the responsibility of the Lebanese government.  However, the Lebanese force will not disarm the group because, according to Lebanese Defense Minister Elias Murr, the issue should be resolved “through national dialogue.”

Security Council resolution 1701 requires the "establishment between the Blue Line [the Israeli border] and the Litani River of an area free of any armed personnel, assets and weapons other than those of the government of Lebanon and of UNIFIL."  In effect, Hezbollah must disarm for the international peacekeeping force to fulfill the S.C. resolution.  

The deployment of 15,000 Lebanese troops in conjunction with the departure of an estimated 30,000 Israeli forces in Lebanon followed by the deployment of up to 15,000 UN peacekeeping troops is expected to happen gradually in the coming weeks.  Lebanese troops have less than 10 days to secure southern Lebanon or Israeli troops will not leave.

A senior General Staff officer said Wednesday "The deployment of UNIFIL troops in south Lebanon is likely to take several months. It is not clear exactly how many. Until then, IDF forces will be forced to stay in the field.”

In addition, no countries have officially pledged troops.  France is expected to lead the international force, but has hesitated to send troops because Hezbollah will not give up its arms.  

Sourced from Haaretz Online and BBC News