New UN report cites lack of progress by Israel, Lebanon on key obligations

08:14, July 14, 2010      

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UN Secretary-general Ban Ki- moon on Tuesday complained that not enough progress has been made by Israel and Lebanon on key obligations under the Security Council resolution that ended the hostilities of 2006.

Ban, in a report to the UN Security Council which was released here on Tuesday, said: "Although the parties remained committed to the full implementation of resolution 1701 (2006), a number of violations occurred and no progress was recorded with regard to key obligations under the resolution."

In addition to bringing to a close the conflict that took place between Israel and the Lebanese group Hizbollah four years ago, resolution 1701 also calls for respect for the so-called Blue Line separating the Israeli and Lebanese sides, the disarming of all militias operating in Lebanon and an end to arms smuggling in the area. Israel and Lebanon have enjoyed the longest period of stability in their recent history.

The secretary-general voiced his concern about ongoing air violations committed by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) through almost daily overflights of Lebanese territory, as well as ground violations of the Blue Line that have occurred in recent months.

"The inherent risk of escalating the security situation that these incidents carry cannot be overstated," he warned.

Israel must withdraw its forces from the northern part of the village of Ghajar and an adjacent area north of the Blue Line, in accordance with the resolution, said Ban, who also urged the Israeli government to expedite the withdrawal of the IDF from the area without further delay.

Amid allegations of continued arms transfers to Hizbollah, in violation of the resolution, "a perceptible increase in tension between the parties was recorded during the reporting period," which covers developments since his February report, said Ban.

"That raised the specter of a miscalculation by either party leading to a resumption of hostilities, with potentially devastating consequences for Lebanon and the region," he said.

This tension once again illustrates the importance of control by Lebanon over its borders and of respect by all member states for the prohibition against the transfer of arms and related materiel to entities or individuals in Lebanon without the consent of the Lebanese State, which are key elements of resolution 1701, he said.

The report noted that the UN regularly receives reports and specific allegations that Hizbollah maintains "a vast arsenal and a significant military capacity," but the world body does not have the means to verify this information independently.

The presence of armed groups in Lebanon operating beyond the control of the State is also a concern as they challenge the ability of the State to exercise its full sovereignty and control over its territory, Ban said. "I continue to believe that the disarmament of armed groups should be carried out through a Lebanese-led political process that would result in bringing all arms under the control of the State."

Source: Xinhua


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