No Time-Table for International Force in Lebanon

The draft resolution presented by the US and France to the UN Security Council seems to support Israel's position. However, its ambiguity regarding the time table may undermine a long lasting solution

Political sources in Israel were pleased with the draft resolution for the UN Security Council presented by the US and France. According to the draft, a UN mandated international force will be deployed in Lebanon after the Israeli and Lebanese governments agree on the principles of a ceasefire.

Until the guidelines for a long-term arrangement and the mandate of the international force are settled, UNIFIL will continue to serve in Lebanon. In accordance with Israel's request, IDF forces will remain in Lebanon until the deployment of the new international force, in order to prevent Hizbullah's access to the border.

The Reut Institute contends that although the draft resolution seemingly matches Israel's demands, its ambiguity regarding the schedule for its implementation may undermine the prospects for a long-lasting effective settlement.

The prevailing mindset of the international community is that the international force will deploy only after a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Lebnon has been reached. However, ceasefire will be difficult to attain as long as the IDF is within Lebanese territory. Meanwhile, Israel will be reluctant to withdraw its forces without a guarantee for the deployment of an effective international force.

Therefore, in the absence of a clear time table, Israel may find itself staying within Lebanese territory, continuously attacked by Hizbullah, without an exit strategy and with no international force to take its place.

Sources

Ha'aretz 8/6/06. Full article.