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II. Implementation of resolution 1559 (2004)
D. Disbanding and disarmament of Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias
28. I continue to believe that disarmament must take place through a political process that will lead to the full restoration of the authority of the Government of Lebanon. If the ultimate purpose of disarmament is the establishment of a strong Lebanese State for all inhabitants of Lebanon, as the Taif Accords stipulated, then the disarming and disbanding of all remaining militias must be realized in such a way that it strengthens, rather than weakens, the central authorities. It is a definitional requirement of the state to enjoy a monopoly on the legitimate use of force throughout its territory. In that context, it is important that all neighbouring States abide by the arms embargo, as called for in resolution 1701 (2006).
1. Palestinian militias
29. The National Dialogue’s decision to disarm Palestinian militias outside the camps has not been implemented within the six-month deadline, which ended on 26 August 2006. The National Dialogue, in its session on 16 May 2006, had decided to establish a committee tasked with following up on the implementation of its agreement.
30. I expect that the Government of Lebanon, pursuant to its decision of 27 July 2006, according to which there should be no weapons or authority other than that of the Lebanese State as stipulated in the Taif Accords, will further define a political process and a clear timeline for the full disarmament of Palestinian militias in Lebanon. I call for the issue to be settled as early as possible. I also call on all donors to support the efforts of the Government of Lebanon and of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
31. There have been a number of incidents underlining the importance of the eventual full disarmament of Palestinian militias in Lebanon over the past six months. On 17 May 2006, the Lebanese Armed Forces and the Palestinian militia Fatah-Intifada, which is headquartered in Damascus and maintains a number of bases on Lebanese territory, engaged in clashes after an army patrol approached a newly established Fatah-Intifada position in eastern Lebanon and came under fire. A Lebanese Armed Forces soldier and a Palestinian militant later died from wounds sustained in the subsequent exchanges of fire; another Lebanese soldier was detained for several hours before he was released. The Lebanese Armed Forces eventually took over the base; the Palestinian militants implicated in the incident were later arrested.
32. On 26 May 2006, a leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad was assassinated together with his brother in southern Lebanon by a car bomb. A major escalation occurred two days later along the Blue Line, when at least eight rockets were launched across the Blue Line into Israel (see S/2006/560). The Palestinian Islamic Jihad initially claimed responsibility, but later retracted its assertion. Israel retaliated with air strikes against Lebanese bases of the Damascus-based Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC); a subsequent major exchange across the Blue Line also involved Hizbollah and escalated into the firing of rockets and missiles across the Blue Line by Hizbollah and the Israel Defense Forces. Later the same day, the Lebanese Armed Forces sent equipment to clear rubble at a PFLP-GC base but were denied entry to the base. Also the same day, PFLP-GC leader Ahmad Jibril said in an interview with a Lebanese newspaper that his group coordinated all of their military action with Hizbollah, also stating his opposition to the disarmament of Palestinian militias in Lebanon.
33. Despite these incidents, I took positive note of the reopening of the representative office of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in Lebanon on 15 May 2006. I have continued my dialogue on the issue of the Palestinian militias in Lebanon with the Chairman of PLO, Mahmoud Abbas, who has assured me of his full support for the restoration of the Lebanese Government’s monopoly on the use of force throughout its territory.