UN ruling on Shaba farms undercuts Hizbullah claims (JERUSALEM POST) By DAVID RUDGE 01/31/05)
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The determination by the UN Security Council that the Shaba farms
district is Syrian and not Lebanese land totally negates the pretext
that Hizbullah has been using for continuing its terror attacks
against Israel, senior security sources told The Jerusalem Post on
The sources said that the declaration also reiterated that Israel had
fully complied with UN Security Council Resolution 425 when it
withdrew from south Lebanon in May 2000.
"Hizbullah no longer has a valid excuse but this is unlikely to stop
this terrorist organization from continuing its provocations in the
Mount Dov region under the pretext that it is trying to liberate
Lebanese land," a senior source told the Post.
"Hizbullah has the full backing of Iran, which is its mentor,
financier and military arms supplier, as well as the support of Syria
that continues to control Lebanon through the Lebanese government, so
it is unlikely to stop what it has been doing until now.
"The Shaba farms area was always seen as Syrian land by its
inhabitants and in the region generally until Hizbullah, with the
backing of the Syrian-controlled Lebanese government and Iran,
"The UN Security Council declaration undermines Hizbullah´s claim to
be the freedom fighting liberation organization that it portrays
itself to be. It is, in fact, a terrorist organization operating
illegally from Lebanese territory," said the source.
Analysts noted that without its claim to be fighting for the
liberation of Lebanese land, the justification for the continued
existence of Hizbullah´s military arm in a country where all other
militias have been disbanded would cease to exist.
The UN determination regarding the so-called disputed Shaba farms
district coincided with its decision to extend by a further six
months the mandate of its Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), which
has been a presence on the ground following the Litani Operation in
The UN decision, accompanied by sharp criticism of the Lebanese
government for failing to deploy its forces in the south, also
coincided with the first anniversary of the prisoners´ exchange with
As part of the deal, Israel freed some 30 Arab nationals and 400
Palestinians and returned the bodies of some 60 Lebanese in exchange
for the release of Elhanan Tannenbaum and the return of the bodies of
St.-Sgts. Adi Avitan, Benny Avraham and Omar Suwayid.
Hizbullah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah used the occasion to issue a
veiled warning that the organization would use every means, including
further kidnappings of Israelis, to secure the release of three
remaining Lebanese prisoners.
"Every day the Zionist enemy declares that the leadership of
Hizbullah has taken a strategic decision to capture Israeli
soldiers... I confirm that all options are open," Nasrallah was
quoted as saying during a rally in Beirut on Saturday.
A ceremony was held in Tiberias Sunday night to mark the first
anniversary of the return of the bodies of the three soldiers
kidnapped by Hizbullah in an ambush on the Israeli side of the UN-
delineated withdrawal line in the Mount Dov region in October 2000.
The ceremony was attended by Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Moshe
Ya´alon, former deputy Chief of Staff Maj.-Gen. Gaby Ashkenazi, OC
Northern Command Maj.-Gen. Benny Gantz and senior officers from the
Engineering Corps, in which the soldiers served. (© 1995-2005, The
Jerusalem Post 01/31/05)
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