The ink is not yet dry on United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701, but there is already at least one indication that the resolution’s implementation will be problematic: Hezbollah leader Hasan Nasrallah’s supposed “acceptance” of the resolution in fact contradicts two of its most important operational clauses.
Here are the relevant parts of the resolution:
[The Security Council…]
1. Calls for a full cessation of hostilities based upon, in particular, the immediate cessation by Hezbollah of all attacks and the immediate cessation by Israel of all offensive military operations;
2. Upon full cessation of hostilities, calls upon the government of Lebanon and Unifil as authorised by paragraph 11 to deploy their forces together throughout the South and calls upon the government of Israel, as that deployment begins, to withdraw all of its forces from southern Lebanon in parallel;
And here is some of what Nasrallah has to say about the resolution (with italics supplied by the Don’s Mideast Musings Typography Bureau):
We believe that the resolution that was agreed on last night was unfair, but if there is an agreement on the cessation of hostilities between the Lebanese government and the enemy, we will abide by it without delay…
Regardless of our reservations and political positions, we will cooperate when the Lebanese soldiers and UNIFIL forces are deployed…
We must be aware of the fact that the war will continue for another few days. That’s why we are continuing to fight today. We will fight as long as Israeli soldiers are in Lebanon.
In other words, Hezbollah will continue its attacks against Israel – certainly guerrilla warfare against Israel Defense Force soldiers inside Lebanon, and perhaps rocket attacks on Israel’s civilian population – despite the fact that Resolution 1701 calls for “the immediate cessation by Hezbollah of all attacks” before the Lebanese army and a beefed-up UNIFIL take the place of the IDF in South Lebanon. (One Associated Press report claims that Nasrallah “said Hezbollah rocket strikes on northern Israel would end when Israel stopped airstrikes and other attacks on Lebanese civilians” – but as it doesn’t give Nasrallah’s exact words, even in translation, it’s hard to know how seriously to take this statement. In any case, given Hezbollah’s deployment among South Lebanon’s civilian population, almost anything the IDF does there can be interpreted as “attacks on Lebanese civilians”.)
In short, the evidence so far is that despite the headlines, Hezbollah does not, in fact, intend to abide by the terms of U.N.S.C. Resolution 1701 – and thus it’s entirely possible that the fighting in Lebanon, and Hezbollah’s rocket attacks on Israeli cities, will continue.
A more detailed analysis of Resolution 1701 in its entirety would probably be a good, albeit unoriginal, idea – if I can get around to it before the resolution becomes completely irrelevant.
(This post can also be found at the Guns and Butter Blog.)