Satisfaction in Israel from draft ceasefire proposal

Sunday, August 06, 2006 |  by Staff Writer
Israel expressed its satisfaction from the joint US-French ceasefire draft proposal handed to the UN Security Council.

The draft calls for the end of hostilities and an arms embargo on Hizballah, but allows Israel the right to self defense if attacked.

The proposal was drafted after intense meetings between US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton and French Ambassador Jean-Marc de La Sabliere, along with consultation with Washington and Jerusalem. The estimation is that a vote will not take place before Tuesday.

The draft does not call for an immediate ceasefire demanded by the French, and does not call for the withdrawal of Israel from Lebanon. The proposal does call for the sides to end hostilities. The proposal also says Hizballah must stop all of its attacks, and Israel is required to end its offensive action, but reserves the right to defend itself if attacked.

Another clause calls for the immediate unconditional release of the kidnapped soldiers, while calling for an advancement of the Lebanese prisoner release issue.

One of the most important clauses in the draft is the decision to impose an embargo on any factor that passes weapons to the Hizballah and other armed militias in Lebanon. The proposal calls for the redeployment of UNIFIL to the Lebanon-Syria border crossings to prevent that from happening.

The draft also calls for the implementation of UN resolution 1559, which includes a call for Lebanon to enforce its sovereignty on Lebanon and deploy its army in the south. In addition there is a call for Syria and Lebanon to resolve their border disputes, including the issue of the Shaba Farms. This in an uneasy clause for Israel since Israel will ultimately have to withdraw from the Shaba Farms.

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