Can Hizbullah be dismantled?

Israel conditions a ceasefire with Lebanon on the the implementation of UN Resolution 1559, which calls for the dismantling of Hizbullah. The question is whether this demand can be realized.

Hizbullah cannot be dismantled –

Senior officers in the IDF say that the massive air strikes in Lebanon are far from bringing about a decisive victory there. In an article published in Globes, Jaffe Center experts support this view.

Though Hizbullah has been militarily damaged, the wide civic support of the organization puts into doubt the possibility of dismantling or destroying it.

Hizbullah is operating in both the internal-political field (participation in both the Lebanese government and Parliament) and in the militant-Islamic field (military operations from Lebanon against Israel).

Hizbullah must be dismantled –

(Ha'aretz, Ma'ariv, Yediot) The main condition for a ceasefire in Lebanon demanded by the Government of Israel is the implementation of UN Resolution 1559, which calls for the dismantling of all armed factions in Lebanon.

Israel is insisting on the elimination of Hizbullah's military ability as a point of leverage to reach a comprehensive agreement vis-à-vis the Lebanese government that will restore the government's authority in the south of Lebanon.

Israel has not rejected the possibility of an international force intervening in the south of Lebanon, as long as this force will not hurt Israel's ability to use force in future conflicts.

Israel's strategic aims include the prevention of Hizbullah's future rearmament with Syrian and Iranian weapons; the extension of the Lebanese government's sovereignty over the entire state; the dismantling of Hizbullah's military abilities throughout Lebanese territory, and not only in the south; and a demand to enforce demilitarization arrangements that will prevent the re-establishment of the past status quo that led to the present conflict.

The Re'ut Institute poses the following questions:

  1. Is there an entity that can serve as an address for dismantling Hizbullah?
  2. Will the dismantling of Hizbullah bring a new and stable status quo in Lebanon, or will other insurgent groups substitute for the Hizbullah?
  3. Regarding Lebanon, what can be learned from the Palestinian context in thinking about the process ofdismantling Lebanese terror infrastructures?

Sources

  • Amnon Barzily, Globes, 7/18/06.
  • Amir Rapaport, Ma'ariv, 7/19/06.
  • Harel and Benn, Ha'aretz, 7/19/06, for the full text (in Hebrew).
  • Uzi Benziman, Ha'aretz, 7/19/06, for the full text (in Hebrew).