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Monday, November 13, 2006

Hezbollah no longer exists, according to UNIFIL

Something very interesting can be discerned when looking at the many UNIFIL press releases since the war in the summer.

As soon as the war was over, they never mention Hezbollah.

There are a couple of oblique references to "the parties" in the weeks after the ceasefire, but the rest of the press releases talk about humanitarian aid, Israeli flyovers and withdrawals from various areas, clearing cluster munitions, helping the Lebanese economy, increased UN troop strength and many patrols to ensure no Israeli presence.

But not a single reference to the people who are taking Lebanon hostage and who shot thousands of rockets towards Israeli civilians. Not a single reference to observing Hezbollah movements, actions, statements, or weapons smuggling.

Meanwhile, Nasrallah brags that he has already more than replenished his rocket arsenal and Israeli intelligence confirms it. Under the noses of UNIFIL which doesn't even admit Hezbollah presence in Southern Lebanon.

Remember that part of UN resolution 1701 calls for UNIFIL to assist the Lebanese army in providing:
security arrangements to prevent the resumption of hostilities, including the establishment between the Blue Line and the Litani river of an area free of any armed personnel, assets and weapons other than those of the government of Lebanon and of UNIFIL as authorised in paragraph 11, deployed in this area;

UNIFIL has miraculously declared Hezbollah to have disappeared and to be completely outside the scope of its activities in Lebanon, as it threatens to shoot down any Israeli aircraft trying to do UNIFIL's job in monitoring for weapons smuggling.

The extent of UNIFIL's complete forced ignorance of any Hezbollah activities at all in southern Lebanon is highlighted:
Fears also remain that despite Unifil's beefed-up presence, it will not be able to prevent renewed hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah. On Friday, Maj Gen Alain Pellegrini, Unifil's French commander, warned that conflict in the south remained a possibility. He cited the worsening Israeli-Palestinian crisis, and political tension in Beirut, where a failure to find agreement between Lebanon's pro- and anti-Syrian factions threatens to end in street violence.

So in Pellegrini's mind, Israeli actions in Gaza and Lebanese political tension can contribute to hostilities - but Hezbollah openly shipping tons of weapons illegally under his watch is not something he knows or cares about, and clearly that doesn't make the situation worse at all.

The absence of any mention of Hezbollah since mid-August in UN press releases shows that UNIFIL never had any intention to stop smuggling or disarm Hezbollah, and that UN 1701 will never be implemented by the UN as it was drafted and intended. If they can wish away Hezbollah's existence then they don't have to deal with them.