Question of Palestine home || Permalink || About UNISPAL || Search

English (pdf) ||Arabic||Chinese||Français||Русский||Español||


See also: UN DPI Multimedia (Ref: 90DB96038)
Follow UNISPAL Twitter RSS

UNITED
NATIONS
S

        Security Council
S/PV.3653
15 April 1996

United Nations S/PV.3653

Security Council Provisional
Fifty-first Year
3653rd Meeting
Monday, 15 April 1996, 6 p.m.
New York

President: Mr. Somavía (Chile)

Members: Botswana Mr. Nkgowe
China Mr. Qin Huasun
Egypt Mr. Elaraby
France Mr. Dejammet
Germany Mr. Eitel
Guinea-Bissau Mr. Queta
Honduras Mr. Martínez Blanco
Indonesia Mr. Wibisono
Italy Mr. Terzi di Sant'Agata
Poland Mr. Wlosowicz
Republic of Korea Mr. Park
Russian Federation Mr. Lavrov
United Kingdom of Great Britain Mr. Plumbly
and Northern Ireland
United States of America Mrs. Albright


Agenda

The situation in the Middle East

The meeting was called to order at 6.15 p.m.

Adoption of the agenda

The agenda was adopted.

The situation in the Middle East

Letter dated 13 April 1996 from the Permanent Representative of Lebanon to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/1996/280)

The President (interpretation from Spanish): I should like to inform the Council that I have received letters from the representatives of Afghanistan, Algeria, Colombia, Cuba, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Malaysia, Morocco, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, in which they request to be invited to participate in the discussion of the item on the Council's agenda. In conformity with the usual practice, I propose, with the consent of the Council, to invite those representatives to participate in the discussion, without the right to vote, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Charter and rule 37 of the Council's provisional rules of procedure.

There being no objection, it is so decided.

At the invitation of the President, Mr. Yaacobi (Israel) and Mr. Moubarak (Lebanon) took seats at the Council table; Mr. Farhadi (Afghanistan), Mr. Lamamra (Algeria), Mr. García (Colombia), Mr. Rodríguez Parrilla (Cuba), Mr. Takht-Ravanchi (Islamic Republic of Iran), Mr. Bataineh (Jordan), Mr. Abulhasan (Kuwait), Mr. Azwai (Libyan Arab Jamahiriya), Mr. Thanarajasingam (Malaysia), Mr. Snoussi (Morocco), Mr. Kamal (Pakistan), Mr. Allagany (Saudi Arabia), Mr. Hallak (Syrian Arab Republic), Mr. Abdellah (Tunisia), Mr. Tanç (Turkey) and Mr. Samhan (United Arab Emirates) took the seats reserved for them at the side of the Council Chamber.

The President (interpretation from Spanish): The Security Council will now begin its consideration of the item on its agenda. The Security Council is meeting in response to the request contained in a letter dated 13 April 1996 from the Permanent Representative of Lebanon to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/1996/280).

The first speaker is the representative of Lebanon, on whom I now call.

Mr. Moubarak (Lebanon): Once again, Lebanon is pleading before you, members of the Security Council, to take action to stop the Israeli military aggression against my country, its people, its territorial integrity, its independence and its sovereignty. Military aggression is a flagrant violation of the United Nations Charter, international law and pertinent Security Council resolutions, particularly resolution 425 (1978), and the Armistice Agreement of 1949 between Lebanon and Israel.

For five days now, Lebanon has been subjected to continued Israeli aggression by land, sea and air. Israel is killing and injuring Lebanese civilians, and at this time there is an exceedingly large number of displaced persons from South Lebanon and surrounding areas.

This situation cannot be tolerated. I am here today to ask you, members of the Council, to take swift action to stop this Israeli madness.

Contrary to the claims of Israeli officials and those who are backing them, the current escalation is a result of persistent Israeli attacks and bombardments deep in Lebanese territory, killing men, women and children. This is a violation of the so-called understanding of July 1993 and hence attracts reaction from the Lebanese resistance.

The records of the Security Council are replete with my constant correspondence reporting to the Council a long chain of misery inflicted by Israel against Lebanon.

Israeli military activities are escalating at an alarming rate. Israeli military forces are bombarding, by air, sea and land, an area extending from the south to the north of Lebanon, causing the displacement of hundreds of thousands of civilians. This new cycle of violence must not be viewed apart from the overall situation in the south and the western Bekaa. It is not a question of who launched this or that rocket first. It is the result of the occupation by Israel, in flagrant violation of Security Council resolution 425 (1978). Furthermore, this new cycle of large-scale violence has been triggered on purpose by the Israelis to serve the electoral ambitions of the Israeli Government. This is completely insane.

Israel is still engaged in its deadly assault against Lebanon. The number of casualties is constantly increasing and the destruction of property is devastating. The outcome of this aggression since it started is as follows.

On Wednesday, 10 April, the entire southern Lebanese coast was subjected to an intensive sea blockade. Israeli artillery heavily shelled most of the villages in the south and the western Bekaa. The Israeli air force violated Lebanese airspace by conducting extensive military bombardments over most of Lebanon's regions.

On Thursday, 11 April, Israel raided the civilian sections of the southern part of Beirut, targeting the Al Sahel hospital and a Syrian army barracks near Beirut airport. Moreover, it carried out other raids on many villages in the south: Mlita, Ain Bousouar and Jibaa. The sea blockade imposed on all Lebanese coasts is being firmly maintained and artillery shelling on many villages in the south and the western Bekaa Tyre, Nabatiye, Schhour, Zibqeen, Yater, Al Qlayle, Mlita, Dirdghaya, Mayfadoun, Jibcheet, Khirbit Selem, Shouqeen, Majdal Selem, Zibdeen and Al Hiniye continues unabated. Furthermore, Israeli rockets hit a civilian car in the town of Jiye, killing all the occupants. The casualty results of that day were 5 citizens dead, among them a soldier in the Lebanese army, and 25 civilians injured.

On Friday, 12 April, Israeli artillery shelled many villages in the south and the western Bekaa: Nabatiye, Mansouri, Hiniye, Yater, Hariss, Baraachit, Chakra, Mayfadoun, Souyaneh, Kfar Remen, Habboush, Arabsalim, Kfar Melki, Touleen, Sohmor, Yohmor, Zillaya, Libbaya, Machghara, Tibneen, Jmeijmeh, Hatcheet, Kfarsseer and Kfar Tebneet. Furthermore, Israeli helicopters raided the southern and the western Bekaa, bombarding Shouqeen, Nabatiye, Maalliye, Tyre and Sarba, and Israeli forces shelled the southern part of Beirut: Haret Hreik, Beer Hassan, Tariq al Matar and Hay al Solom.

The sea blockade is still in effect, and the Israelis warned the Lebanese to evacuate their homes in 40 southern towns and villages, causing a massive migration towards Saida, Tyre and Beirut. These villages are Klayleh, Khirbet Selem, Jibcheet, Nabatiye, Yater, Mansouri, Hinniye, Bazoulliya, Zibqeen, Jebal al Boutoum, Majdal Zoun, Siddiqeen, Aiteet, Majdal Selem, Chakra, Kabrikha, Touleen, Al Ghandouriye, Al Sultaniye, Beer al Salassel, Jmeijmeh, Safad al Bateekh, Zaoutar al Gharbiye, Zaoutar al Sharqiye, Yohmor, Tibneen, Shouqeen, Kaaqayiat al Jiser, Kfar Reman, Arabsaleem, Aita al Jebel, Kafra, Mayfadoun, Adcheet and Kfarsseer. The casualty results of that day were 6 civilians dead, 22 injured and 50,000 newly displaced from the south.

On Saturday, 13 April, massive Israeli bombardments continued at the rate of 40 mortar shells per minute falling on many villages in the south and the western Bekaa: Hinniye, Al Klayleh, Schaytiyeh, Al Kneisseh, Qana, Siddiqeen, Baraachit, Chakra, Al Souyaneh, Nabatiye, Tyre, Majdal Selem, Zibqeen, Harrouf, Jibcheet, Al Mansouri, Yater, Al Doueir, Al Kfour, Toumaat Nihaa, Al Bazouriye, Jbaa, Ain Qana, Habouch, Kfar Remman, Zibdeen, Maydoun, Ain al Tineh and Beer al Salassel.

Israeli helicopters continued their raids on the south and the Bekaa, attacking Jebal al Boutoum, Al Klayleh, Majdal Selem, Tibneen, Al Souyaneh, Al Remadiyah, Siddiqeen, Kfra, Baraachit, Kherbet Selem, Al Bazouriya, Hariss, Chakra and Mahrounah. Israeli shelling hit a Lebanese ambulance in Al Mansouri, in the area of Tyre, killing four children, and hit a house in the town of Souhmor in the western Bekaa, killing a whole family of five. More Israeli warnings have been issued to vacate the area of Nabatiye and the western Bekaa. The casualty results of that day were 12 civilians dead and 30 injured, and the number of displaced from the south reached 200,000 more Lebanese citizens.

On Sunday, 14 April, Israel continued to bombard all the Lebanese regions from air, land and sea. Israeli warplanes shelled the southern part of Beirut: Beer-Abd, Haret Hreik and Ghobeyri. Furthermore, Israeli warplanes shelled the electrical power station in Jamhour, in East Beirut. More warnings were issued by Israel to evacuate Tyre and all surrounding villages. The following towns were bombarded: Tyre, Hinniye, Al Azziye, Al Klayleh, Siddiqeen and Bourg Al Shemaleh. Israel also raided the Palestinian refugee camp of Al Baddawi in northern Lebanon and Israeli forces prevented the flow of south-bound traffic on the Beirut-Sidon line, citing any violation as a provocation for direct shelling. The resulting casualties were 5 dead and 30 injured, and the number of displaced persons reached more than 600,000.

Today, Monday, 15 April, Israeli reinforcements entered Lebanon. A systematic bombardment of Tyre and its internationally protected archaeological sites is taking place at a rate of 100 shells per minute. Bombardments are continuing on all the towns and villages cited above. Beirut's suburbs are the target of the Israeli air force and another power station was hit at Bsaleem village, north-east of Beirut. Israeli threats and intimidations are intensifying. The sea blockade is being strongly maintained.

Before coming to the Security Council, I received two further pieces of information. First, the Israeli air force bombarded the largest electrical plant in Lebanon, at Jiye. Secondly, 484 Israeli air raids took place today alone. The total number of persons displaced to date is 800,000.

The Israeli military actions against Lebanon are acts of aggression. This aggression constitutes a grave threat to international peace and security and a breach of the United Nations Charter, international law and Security Council resolutions.

In 1978 the Security Council deployed thousands of United Nations soldiers, in accordance with resolution 425 (1978), for the purpose of confirming the withdrawal of Israeli forces, restoring peace and security and re-establishing the effective authority of the Lebanese Government in the area. Since then, the Council has remained seized of this question, and to this day Israel refuses to comply with that resolution.

It has been a pattern that any resistance to Israeli aggression is immediately labelled an act of terrorism. Let me reiterate once again Lebanon's constant position on this point: while Lebanon stresses its firm condemnation of all forms of terrorism, it firmly supports the legitimate right of peoples to resist foreign occupation. What we have in south Lebanon is foreign occupation, and the Lebanese are within their legitimate rights in defending themselves against occupation, human rights abuses and displacement.

This principle was reaffirmed time and again in the solemn declarations of Heads of State and Government at the Commemorative Meeting on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of our Organization. What is happening in Lebanon today is resistance against foreign occupation.

Israeli occupation of Lebanon is terrorism. Since 1978 Israel has refused to comply with resolution 425 (1978), which

Calls for strict respect for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence of Lebanon within its internationally recognized boundaries (resolution 425 (1978), para. 1)

and

Calls upon Israel immediately to cease its military action against Lebanese territorial integrity and withdraw forthwith its forces from all Lebanese territory (ibid., para. 2)

Instead of complying with resolution 425 (1978), Israel has carved out the so-called security zone in south Lebanon and the Western Bekaa, perpetuating its occupation of Lebanon.

At this stage, I would like to sum up some of Israel's erroneous expectations and conclusions in launching the new large-scale bombardments against Lebanon. First, if Israel thinks that violence is the solution it should know that violence will serve for nothing; it will only add misery, suffering and destruction. The whole history of Israel since 1948 has been full of this distorted logic.

Secondly, if Israel thinks that the perpetuation of the so-called security zone is another solution, here Israel should know once again that it is wrong. The so-called security zone is a complete failure. It has not achieved security for Israel.

Thirdly, if Israel thinks that it can keep the peace process intact by combining violence and diplomacy, again Israel should know that it is wrong. Israel can see clearly the deplorable results of its military actions on the peace process since 1991.

Fourthly, if the purpose of the exercise is to force Lebanon to accept submission, this is again a futile hope. Lebanon will have no peace with Israel as long as Israel does not withdraw from south Lebanon, in implementation of resolution 425 (1978), and from the Golan Heights up to the 4 June 1967 line, in implementation of resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973). It is high time Israel forgot once and for all its hopeless dreams in this regard. History has fully proved to Israel on many occasions the complete failure of this kind of futile thinking.

Fifthly, if the purpose of the exercise is to confuse terrorism with resistance to foreign occupation, we say to Israel, Don't waste your time. It is obvious to all that Lebanon's resistance is a sacred right. It is up to Israel to withdraw and to end the occupation, which is the cause of the resistance.

Children are being slaughtered in ambulances, and elderly people, men and women in Lebanon are falling every minute for the sole purpose of helping the electoral ambitions of the Israeli Government. This is pure madness.

What did the Israeli authorities achieve by launching a new, large-scale aggression against my country? Just new statistics of death and misery to add to their well-known record of killings. Since the peace process started in 1991 in Madrid, Israel has been launching raids of death and destruction against Lebanon. Why? Simply because it refuses to abide by international law and implement Security Council resolutions.

My appeal to the Security Council in this fiftieth anniversary year of the United Nations is to act swiftly in putting an end to Israeli terror, to condemn this aggression and to force Israel to withdraw to the internationally recognized boundaries of Lebanon, in accordance with resolution 425 (1978).

The Israeli aggression in Lebanon is seriously damaging the peace process. Everybody should realize that the Israeli aggression against Lebanon today is a process of destruction. Israel bears complete responsibility for the crimes committed in my country.

My delegation made it clear on many occasions in the peace talks in Madrid and Washington that Israel has to comply by implementing fully resolution 425 (1978). Furthermore, we asked for the release of all detainees from Israeli jails and from detention camps under Israeli control in south Lebanon.

What is happening in Lebanon today is the result of a joint venture of Israeli terrorism and Israeli elections. Again and again my country is the first arena of Israeli terror.

We have always said that security will never support peace, but that peace will support security. When we participated in the Madrid Peace Conference in 1991 we expected the implementation of resolutions 425 (1978), 242 (1967) and 338 (1973). After five long years none of those resolutions has been implemented. Israel wants peace and wants also to keep the land, water, Jerusalem, the settlements, and it refuses to solve the Palestinian refugee issue in accordance with General Assembly resolution 194 (III).

My delegation said during the peace talks that Israel should not fool itself. Peace will prevail only with the implementation of instruments of international legality or peace will not prevail at all. It will be a reality when the
rights of all parties are respected. It will succeed only if Israel abides by the Madrid equation of land for peace. Peace will be lasting only if it is just and comprehensive. The omens are not too promising, and time is running out. The process has been very badly damaged by this second blitz against Lebanon in three years.

Every violent means has been used by Israel against Lebanon since 1968 when the Israeli air force destroyed the Lebanese civil fleet at Beirut International Airport. My country, which has been invaded twice, in 1978 and in 1982, has since been subjected to daily Israeli terror.

Unfortunately, Israel thinks that it is above international law, and, ironically, it is a person who received a Nobel Prize who is perpetrating this aggression against my country. It is the main responsibility of the Council immediately to stop the Israeli aggression. How long should Lebanon suffer to make Israel understand that violence does not solve anything?

Israel can kill human beings, but it will never kill our rights. If Israel wants to pursue a distorted, violent logic it can do it. But it will not achieve anything. Israel will fail as usual. It should refer to the history of recent decades, which demonstrates that aggression against Lebanon ends in total failure. Israelis should not play politics in Lebanon because it has never been a good omen for their country or their politicians.

At this stage I would like to quote from the prophet Habakkuk in the Old Testament, who says:

For the violence of Lebanon shall cover thee (The Holy Bible, Habakkuk 2:17)

The Israelis should let my people live by withdrawing from Lebanon. They will have to implement resolution 425 (1978). There is only one way for Israel: southward. International law has to be implemented. Israel's logic of terror is distorted. Its military might is its weakness, its stubbornness is blindness and its pretentions are pure imagination and dream. The peoples of the region will never accept Israeli expansionism. They should know that our right will never die. They have tried many times to impose their military might on us but have always failed; and they will fail again and again. Violence does not achieve anything.

In conclusion, I would like to present my delegation's request to the Security Council. We ask the Council: first, to order Israel to stop immediately its aggression against Lebanon and to withdraw all its reinforcements; secondly, to condemn the Israeli aggression against Lebanon, its civilians, its economy, its infrastructure and its archaeological sites, in particular those internationally protected; thirdly, to force Israel to implement resolution 425 (1978); fourthly, to provide, in cooperation with the Secretary-General, a massive programme of assistance to Lebanon and its people to overcome the suffering and casualties resulting from the Israeli aggression; and fifthly, to remain seized of the matter so long as the Israelis do not abide by the order of the Council to halt their aggression, with a view to convening further meetings to take appropriate action.

The President (interpretation from Spanish): The next speaker is the representative of Israel, on whom I call.

Mr. Yaakobi (Israel): While most of the leaders of the Middle East were meeting last month at the Summit of Peacemakers at Sharm El Sheikh to pledge their support for combatting terrorism, Hezbollah terrorists were carrying out attacks on Israelis.

The representative of Lebanon began his comments this evening by counting from 10 April. But since 1 February, eight Israelis have been killed and 29 more have been wounded by Hezbollah Islamic fundamentalist terrorists. Last week, 36 more Israeli civilians were injured in several waves of Katyusha rocket attacks fired by the Hezbollah into northern Israel. Since then more than 100 Katyusha rocket attacks have been fired by the Hezbollah, hitting the city of Qiryat Shemona and 20 other towns and villages in the northern part of Israel. Tens of thousands are living in shelters or have left the northern part of the State of Israel.

Several speakers have already described Israel's actions as if there were no murderous Hezbollah provocations against Israel and Israeli citizens. Such a description is bogus and deceitful. The truth is that, after a long period of restraint and the exhaustion of all political and diplomatic means, the Israel Defence Force is hitting back at Hezbollah strongholds with air, sea, and artillery strikes.

Israel's primary obligation is to protect the security of all of its citizens. We will not allow our civilian population centres to be held hostage by Hezbollah. The Lebanese Government does not have the ability or the will to control Hezbollah activities. Therefore, Israel must defend the security of its north by all necessary measures.
Israel has no territorial claim on Lebanon, and has no intention of entering into battles with either the Syrian or the Lebanese armies. But we have the right and the obligation to defend our people.

The Lebanese Government was told time and again: control the Hezbollah. If you are, as you claim, the sovereign Government of Lebanon, then this is your obligation. It is interesting that the Lebanese Government disarmed all the militias which had operated within its territory, but never Hezbollah.

It was very strange to hear from the Prime Minister of Lebanon, just last night, It is not within our ability to do this. Please decide: either his is the sovereign Government, or it is not within its ability.

The Syrian Government was told time and again, You control large portions of territory in Lebanon. Use your influence to stop the terrorists. Israel waited for the Governments to respond and allowed ample time for diplomatic efforts, but to no avail. Hezbollah has continued to carry out attacks against Israel with impunity. Now, unfortunately, the time has come to take action ourselves.

Who among you, members of the Council, would agree to the existence of an armed militia operating from within your territory, beyond the scope of your Government's authority, carrying out attacks against other States? Who among you would allow your citizens to be attacked and killed by terrorists? Who among you would choose not to exercise the right of self-defence?

Today, two trends are emerging in the Middle East: one that seeks a peaceful resolution to the conflict, and another, inspired and supported by Iran, that is trying to kill the prospects for peace. While peacemakers meet and sign treaties and create a new reality, Hezbollah, Hamas, the Islamic Jihad and their Iranian master seek to pull us back to the old Middle East, where violence and bloodshed were the order of the day.

Make no mistake. The stated goal of Hezbollah is not the removal of Israeli forces from southern Lebanon, but the destruction of Israel. Last month, Hezbollah Vice-Chairman Naeem Kassem stated,

We oppose, and will continue to oppose, the Zionist entity. Israel has no reason to exist, and will not exist.

Hezbollah annually receives $70 million in financial aid from Iran. Hezbollah terrorists are trained in Iranian military installations and the so-called Iranian Revolutionary Guards are very active in Lebanon, day after day. I hope that the members of the Security Council will not ignore this outrageous situation.

Allow me to quote from the decisions reached at this week's cabinet meeting, as articulated by Israel's Prime Minister, Shimon Peres.

First, Hezbollah has broken all previous understandings achieved in the wake of Operation Accountability in 1993, and has deliberately created this escalation. The United States, which brokered the understandings between us, has established that the Hezbollah has not been honoring its commitments.

Secondly, Israel will not permit Hezbollah to conceal itself among the civilian population. We will not permit the launching of Katyusha rockets from within Lebanese villages into northern Israel.

Thirdly, Hezbollah terrorists and facilities in Lebanon, including those in Beirut, will not enjoy immunity.

Fourthly, if civilian facilities in Israel are hit, there will be no immunity from strikes on corresponding facilities in Lebanon.

Fifthly, if the Hezbollah ceases its attacks on a permanent basis, Israel will cease too. I will say it again: If the Hezbollah ceases its attacks on a permanent basis, Israel will cease too.

Sixthly, the Government of Israel will not accept the freedom that the Lebanese Government grants to terrorist groups to operate from its territory without interference.

I should like to reiterate to the members of the Security Council: please understand that Israel has no interest in or intention of escalating this into a war, but we are forced to act in order to defend our people. As a sovereign and democratic State, we are committed to achieving peace and security. Our security must be ensured in order to enhance the peace process. Operations are being conducted solely against Hezbollah terrorist targets. But Hezbollah positions are situated throughout Lebanon, and are usually located in the midst of civilian population centres.

Unfortunately, innocent civilians, on both sides of the border, are suffering as a result of this confrontation. For this we are sorry. But this escalation was initiated by the murderous acts of Hezbollah, without any intervention by the so-called sovereign Government of the State of Lebanon. We hope that this unnecessary suffering will soon be over permanently on a permanent basis. This must be based on the understanding that all parties are committed to maintaining peace and security for all people in the area. This is our intention. This is our hope.

We call upon Council members to understand and support this policy, this expectation, this hope.

Mr. Dejammet (France) (interpretation from French): This meeting of the Security Council is a necessary one. It could have been held earlier, as Lebanon, with the support of France, had proposed. Members of the Council cannot remain silent in the face of the deterioration of the situation, which affects the security of Lebanon and of Israel, threatens the national cohesion of Lebanon and seriously jeopardizes the peace process.

France reaffirms the right of all States in the region, including Lebanon and Israel, to live in security. It understands Israel's desire to keep its people safe from acts of violence. However, France deeply regrets that the ongoing military actions of the last few days have already led to the death of several dozen Lebanese civilians and forced hundreds of thousands of others to flee their homes. This mass exodus endangers the national reconstruction efforts to which Lebanon, after so many years of tragedy and division, and with such courage and determination, has devoted all its energy.

France is convinced that the present crisis cannot be resolved by military means. It is only the implementation of resolution 425 (1978), which was adopted by the Security Council, that can, over the long term, ensure respect for the security of the States of the region by re-establishing Lebanon's complete sovereignty over its territory and thereby enabling the Lebanese Government to participate fully in the maintenance of peace.

But what must be done right now is to halt the chain reaction of acts of violence and reprisals, which strike primarily the civilian populations in Israel and in Lebanon, and which have already taken many lives. France calls on all parties concerned to demonstrate responsibility and restraint, and to order a cease-fire as soon as possible. It is in this spirit that at the request of the President of the Republic, the French Minister for Foreign Affairs is today travelling to the region.

Our Council must closely monitor a crisis which threatens security in the Middle East. It must therefore remain seized of this matter. The scale of the exodus of people forced to flee creates immediate problems of assistance and aid, which the United Nations should endeavour to resolve.

It is important, under these grave circumstances, that we each reaffirm our confidence in Lebanon's future, our resolve to help that country and our determination that the security of all States of the region shall be assured by peaceful means. It is the whole peace process that must be saved.

Mr. Wibisono (Indonesia): My delegation learned with dismay of the disturbing developments in Lebanon over the weekend. We consider the recent attacks on Lebanon by Israel as a clear violation of the principles of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of Lebanon. It is in this light that my delegation fully endorsed the request by the Permanent Representative of Lebanon and by the Arab League for the convening of this urgent meeting of the Security Council, in response to the rapidly worsening situation. My delegation is hopeful that our consideration of the situation in Lebanon today will lead to the elimination of the obstacles faced in the peace process.

The land incursion, sea blockade and air attack by Israel demonstrate once again its utter contempt for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of Lebanon. By its action, Israel has violated not only the most basic principles governing relations between States, as enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, which we all espouse, but also international law and the relevant Security Council resolutions, particularly resolution 425 (1978). We find intolerable this Israeli military action, which has inflicted casualties among the civilian population, particularly women and children, and has caused destruction of the infrastructure and archaeological sites which are under the protection of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The international community, too, must unreservedly condemn this action.

Clearly, more than principles is involved. Civilians are being killed and maimed. An exodus of hundreds of thousands of Lebanese, including women and children, has
been reported. We have condemned such policies when they have occurred elsewhere, most recently in the Balkans and in Africa. Lebanon should therefore be no exception. The concerns expressed during the Council's earlier deliberation on the fate of innocent civilians languishing under the Israeli siege and strangulation of Palestinian territory similarly applies with regard to the situation in Lebanon. The ordinary Lebanese, whose concern is merely to escape the decades of conflict and violence which have ravaged their land, must not be punished collectively for the actions of those over whom they have little or no control.

In spite of repeated Israeli declarations that the civilian population is not the intended target, the facts show that it is precisely they who are the greatest victims. The massive dislocation of the population threatens the stability not only of Lebanon which is in the process of rebuilding and reconstructing the country after decades of civil war and devastation but also of the Middle East region. It is therefore imperative that emergency relief operations be put in place in order to alleviate the sufferings of the civilian population.

Over the past few years the international community has witnessed significant progress in the Middle East peace process, particularly in the Palestinian-Israeli track of negotiations. Indonesia has on many occasions expressed its principled position on the need for similar progress in the Syrian-Israeli and Lebanese-Israeli tracks, leading to a comprehensive and just settlement in the Middle East, based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 425 (1978). This most recent Israeli military action against Lebanon, like those before it, cannot but be in total contradiction of the aims and objectives of the peace process. Moreover, we seriously doubt whether such action will in fact have its intended effect and bring about a solution to the problem. It is imperative, therefore, that the military action to be put to an immediate end.

At this most critical juncture in the peace process, all the parties concerned must place the interest of peace in the region above any other more transient and narrow interests. Without such a vision, the vicious cycle of violence and conflict in the Middle East, would be renewed. An abrupt escalation of aggressive actions and the prospect of more strife and turmoil in an already volatile region cannot but lead to a crisis of far greater proportions, posing dangerous consequences to the Middle East peace process as a whole. My delegation therefore calls upon Israel to cease immediately its military action against Lebanon and to withdraw all reinforcements, as its acts constitute a clear violation of the principles of the United Nations Charter, international law and relevant Security Council resolutions.

Finally, bearing in mind the potential for the escalation of recent events into a crisis, my delegation shares the view that the Council should remain seized of this matter so long as the Israeli military action has not been halted. It is our earnest hope that our meeting today will provide the necessary impetus towards this end.

Mr. Eitel (Germany): I want to thank you, Mr. President, for having called this meeting at the request of our Lebanese colleague. Germany supports what will be said by Italy on behalf of the European Union. Like all other members of the European Union, we are also concerned about the security of the United Nations peace-keeping force in Lebanon, the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).

For the second time in one day the Security Council is meeting to discuss the situation in an area which is part of the Middle East. In both cases, this Council is dealing with tensions heightened by brutal acts of violence, directed against the peace process, which represents the only chance of bringing peace to this war-torn region.

We would like to express our sympathy for Israel when trying to protect its civilian population. We strongly welcome the fact that Israel, in spite of constant terrorist acts directed against it, remains committed to the peace process. At the same time, it is obvious that, like Israel, Lebanon is also entitled to territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence within its internationally recognized borders. This is clearly spelled out in Security Council resolution 425 (1978).

While self-defence is clearly legitimate, measures of self-defence can become illegal if they do not abide by the basic rule of law prescribing proportionality. This legal rule has been universally recognized at least since the Second World War. Even then it was nothing new. We find this already in the third book of Moses, where it is said: Breach for breach, eye for eye, tooth for tooth (Leviticus 24:20). The Talmud, that admirable compendium of wisdom, in its tractate Bawa Kamma, which means First Door, explains that rule as meaning an eye for an eye, not a life and an eye for an eye.

Measures of self-defence must not be directed against innocent civilians. That is laid down in article 33 of the
Fourth Geneva Convention, to which both Israel and Lebanon are parties. Any measure of self-defence must be proportionate not only in size but also in direction. Whereas all States, especially those of the region, are responsible for complying with Security Council resolution 425 (1978), the Lebanese Government is responsible for doing all it can to prevent its territory from being used for attacks against persons protected by the four Geneva Conventions.

We appeal to all parties concerned to break the vicious circle of violence along the Lebanese-Israeli border. Military de-escalation is the key to preventing a spiral of armed hostilities from developing. Any mediation effort aimed at that goal finds our full support in particular, the one undertaken right now by the French Foreign Minister. We sincerely hope that current tensions will eventually give way to an all-inclusive peace process, thus bringing peace, stability and security to a region and its population, which has for much too long endured the bitter experience of confrontation and war.

The most urgent step now is an end to the fighting. We appeal to all parties involved to refrain from further use of arms. The civilian population must be protected. Germany will continue to help with humanitarian assistance.

Mr. Qin Huasun (China) (interpretation from Chinese): In recent days Israel has launched large-scale military strikes against parts of southern Lebanon, leaving dozens of civilians dead and massive property damage in the wake of shellings. As a result, large numbers of civilians have been displaced or reduced to refugee status, the conflict in southern Lebanon has escalated, and tension has once again mounted.

The Chinese Government and people are deeply concerned about this turn of events. We call on the Israeli side immediately to cease all military actions. We urge all sides to exercise restraint, to settle their disputes through dialogue and consultation and to eschew force or the threat of force so as to safeguard peace and stability in the region.

We believe that Lebanon's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity within internationally recognized boundaries should be fully respected and that the relevant resolutions of the Security Council, including resolution 425 (1978) should be implemented.

The escalation of the conflict in southern Lebanon has dealt another setback to the peace process in the Middle East. The Chinese delegation is deeply alarmed by this development. The realization of peace in the Middle East is a shared aspiration of all peoples of the region. Progress in Middle East peace has been hard won. Undermining it is easier than fostering it; all sides are wise to cherish it.

At this very delicate and crucial moment, we hope that all sides will exercise restraint. Most importantly, they need to keep their calm and their reason and refrain from any action that might aggravate the conflict or harm the Middle East process.

The international community should steer the situation in a manner that nurtures the momentum of the peace process in the Middle East. This is the only guarantee that the Middle East question will find a comprehensive, just and durable solution at an early date.

China pursues no gains for itself in the Middle East. We have always supported the peace process there and have held that a political solution of the Middle East question should be sought on the basis of relevant United Nations resolutions. We hope that the peoples of the Middle East will return at an early date to a happy life characterized by peace, stability and good-neighbourly relations.

We hope that any action taken by the international community will be conducive to the realization of this goal.

Mr. Lavrov (Russian Federation) (interpretation from Russian): It is with grave concern that we in Russia are monitoring reports from Lebanon about the escalation of military actions by Israel. The barrage of bombardments along the Lebanese coast and in Lebanese villages and towns, including parts of Beirut,as well as in the Bekaa Valley, and other large-scale military operations have wrought destruction and have taken many victims among the civilian population. Refugees are now fleeing.

The Israeli command confirms that attacks are being carried out on the bases of the militarized organization Hezbollah as revenge for strikes against northern Israel.

Russia consistently and strongly condemns anti-Israeli terrorist raids; it just as consistently rejects the terrorist methods of certain extremist groups, which will undermine efforts to make progress in the peace process. However, like other members of the Security Council, we ask ourselves the logical question: to what extent are strikes by the Israeli army in proportion to the actions of extremists? We believe that Israel's military operations are an inappropriate reaction to these actions.

We find it necessary to emphasize once again the inadmissibility of the infringement of the territorial integrity and the violation of the sovereignty of Lebanon, which threatens the very statehood of that country. Russia expresses the gravest concern over the fact that this hotbed of tension in southern Lebanon may have a long-term negative impact on the Middle East peace process as a whole.

The critical situation that has developed demands urgent measures. First of all, it is necessary to halt immediately the military operations by Israel in Lebanon and the armed acts initiated from Lebanese territory against Israel. All parties involved in the violent fighting on the Lebanese-Israeli border should show restraint and avoid further escalation of hostilities and violence.

The humanitarian consequences of the present escalation of violence in Lebanon are also of growing concern.

The mass media report that among the civilian population the number of victims is increasing and that women and children are dying.

Disturbing reports have reached the Security Council that many civilians in southern Lebanon who were trying to flee their homes were not able to do so because of the intensity of the firing. There is thus a new wave of people moving away from southern Lebanon, which may be a prelude to an emergency humanitarian situation.

It is absolutely inadmissible that there should be firing in the area where the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) is deployed.

The Russian Federation has always called, and calls now, on all parties involved to show moderation. We believe that breaking the vicious cycle of confrontation can be done only through political methods.

As a sponsor of the peace process, Russia strongly insists that Israel and Lebanon should proceed immediately to a peaceful settlement on the basis of Security Council resolution 425 (1978), which provides for the withdrawal of Israeli troops from southern Lebanon and would ensure the security of both countries.

Mr. Park (Republic of Korea): The graphic scene of the destruction of the white ambulance, which reportedly killed two women and four children the other day in southern Lebanon, is a shattering reminder of a tragedy which must be brought to an end at once. My delegation is of the view that the current situation in Lebanon and along the Israel-Lebanon border deserves serious consideration by all the members in this Chamber, particularly given its possible impact upon the overall Middle East peace process.

The fact that the Council must meet twice in a single day on the question of the Middle East is a distressful reflection of the grave situation which exists at multiple levels in that region. It is, however, all the more reason for the members of this Council to deliberate cautiously and patiently on this issue, as peace in the Middle East cannot be complete without reconciliation between Israel and Lebanon, as well as between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization and between Israel and Syria. The Middle East peace process can be rounded out only by making progress on each track, in keeping with the approach envisioned at the Madrid Peace Conference.

In this regard, we would like to join the previous speakers in expressing deep concern about the recent escalation of the hostilities and the sharp deterioration of the situation in Lebanon and along the Israel-Lebanon border. My delegation reaffirms its support for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Lebanon within its internationally recognized boundaries, as reiterated by the Council on various occasions.

We are particularly disturbed by the growing number of civilian casualties which have resulted from the targeting of cities and villages by the two sides. It is alarming that the 1993 understanding between the parties to restrict fighting to military targets in the 19-mile buffer zone seems to have been scrapped. We call upon both parties immediately to cease targeting civilian populated areas and to respect fully the non-combatant status of civilians.

My delegation is equally concerned at the growing number of refugees who are fleeing their homes, and the worsening humanitarian situation in the area of conflict.

From a historical perspective, the current situation serves as a sobering reminder of the significant obstacles which exist in overcoming the deep-rooted suspicions and hatred among the parties in the region. It has been the Republic of Korea's consistent view that only through open-minded and serious dialogue can the parties concerned overcome these formidable impediments to peace and security in the Middle East.

At this critical juncture, my delegation firmly believes that only restraint by the parties directly concerned can keep the peace process alive. The continuation of the present hostilities will merely provide the extremists with further pretexts to hamper the peace process and dim the prospect for achieving a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the region.

It is in this context that my delegation joins the appeals of the international community to the parties concerned to cease the fighting immediately and to enter into negotiations for a peaceful settlement on the basis of the Council resolution 425 (1978).

Mr. Nkgowe (Botswana): The Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 1039 (1996) on 29 January 1996. That resolution extended the mandate of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) for a further period of six months. This was yet another demonstration of the commitment of the international community to the restoration of peace and normalcy in Lebanon. It had been our hope that the signing of the Declaration of Principles between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization in 1993, the conclusion of the Israel-Jordan Agreement and the talks between Israel and Syria would have a positive impact on the relations between Israel and Lebanon.

Our hopes were shattered by the horrendous pictures which have appeared on our television screens during the last few days. We are gravely appalled by the indiscriminate killings of innocent Lebanese civilians, the destruction of their villages and towns and the bombardment of power plants, none of which have been proved to have had anything to do with Hezbollah. The current destruction and mayhem caused by the Israeli military forces has resulted in the displacement of over 400,000 people, thus creating a serious humanitarian catastrophe. This situation does not augur well for peace in the area. It can only have an effect opposite to that which Israel expects: a groundswell of support for Hezbollah and bitter resentment and hatred for Israel.

The horrid activities of Hezbollah cannot and must not be used as a pretext for the annihilation of the people of Lebanon, for whatever reason. Not every Lebanese is a member or supporter of Hezbollah.

The Israeli military attacks against the people of Lebanon must cease immediately.

Yet we are acutely aware that Israel cannot be expected to watch impassively when Hezbollah continues to rain bombs into its territory, causing turmoil and unmitigated tragedy. It is equally true that Hezbollah will continue to carry out attacks against Israel in an effort to dislodge the latter from southern Lebanon, which it occupies in violation of Security Council resolution 425 (1978). One thing leads to the other: Hezbollah attacks invite massive Israeli retaliatory strikes, in most cases against civilian targets.

This seesaw of attacks and massive reprisals is a dangerous game which, unfortunately, involves human lives, and it should not be allowed to continue indefinitely in a region as volatile as the Middle East. The current carnage unleashed against the people of Lebanon, like the assassination of Prime Minister Rabin and the suicide attacks against the innocent civilian population of Israel, serves as a constant reminder of the reality that the Middle East still remains a cauldron of conflict and bloodshed.

The sovereignty and territorial integrity of Lebanon are today being violated with reckless abandon by Israel, and the long-term consequences of the Israeli actions are difficult to predict. National security is often cited as the reason for these attacks, but everyone, including Hezbollah, should by now have realized that the politics of mutual destruction cannot enhance the security of anyone in the region. They have been playing this dangerous game for far too long. They must today realize that there is an alternative to war and destruction.

The only sensible and realistic solution to the Middle East problem is for the parties to engage in purposeful negotiations aimed at the attainment of a just and lasting peace. In this regard, we strongly support the commendable efforts of the Governments of the United States and the Russian Federation in encouraging the parties to the Middle East conflict to negotiate a comprehensive political settlement. The bombardment of Lebanon is a major setback to these peace efforts, but everything that can be done must be done to ensure that the peace initiatives are not frustrated. The alternative to the peace efforts can only be more conflict and bloodshed, war and destruction. And we do not think that they are in the interests of any nation or organization in the region.

Mr. Terzi di Sant'Agata (Italy): I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union. The following
Member States which are associated with the European Union have expressed their intention of associating themselves with this statement: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.

The European Union expresses its grave concern at the escalation of military activity in Israel and Lebanon, which has resulted in the loss of many innocent lives and has caused hundreds of thousands of civilians to flee their homes. This is creating a major humanitarian crisis. The European Union also expresses its concern about the security of the United Nations peace-keeping force, the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), and calls on all sides to ensure that its safety is not put at risk.

While reaffirming its commitment to the implementation of resolution 425 (1978), the European Union calls upon all parties to show the greatest moderation and to cease military activities, in the conviction that violence assists only the enemies of peace. The European Union also calls on each party to the peace process to use the influence at its disposal to contribute to reducing tension in order to create a more relaxed climate in the interests of all the peoples of the region.

Mrs. Albright (United States of America): Hezbollah attacks into northern Israel have once again compelled the Israeli Government to take steps it deems necessary to protect its people from direct threats emanating from Lebanese territory. This tragic situation has resulted in losses of life and property, suffering, and dislocations of innocent civilians on both sides of the border. My Government extends its condolences and sympathy to those innocent civilians. We deeply regret the loss of any civilian life. The people of northern Israel and southern Lebanon have for too long been the victims of terrorists who take sanctuary in southern Lebanon.

Yet those terrorists continue to wreak havoc. Hezbollah leaders are repeating their threats to attack Israeli and United States targets across the globe.

Despite the extraordinary transformations that have occurred in the Middle East over these past few years, the leaders of Hezbollah have not changed. Still they cling to their policies of violence and their philosophy of hate. Still they lack the courage to contemplate peace, because peace would make them irrelevant. Still they continue their war on the future, and people throughout the region are harmed.
Hezbollah's violence damages not only Israel and the prospects for a Middle East peace; it undermines the safety of people in Lebanon and the legitimacy of the Lebanese State. Those who allow Hezbollah's militia to act with impunity in Lebanon must bear responsibility for the consequences. These consequences include not only abuses to the State of Lebanon from within, but actions of self-defence by Israel in response to Hezbollah violence. Hezbollah will not and must not succeed in its destabilizing aims. The United States is now engaged in an intensive diplomatic effort to restore calm and establish a more stable situation in the area which would enhance the security and well-being of the civilian population of both southern Lebanon and northern Israel. This would enable us to return to the paramount task of assisting the parties in settling their conflict through direct negotiations.

People throughout the region have invested their hopes and dreams in the peace process. We are committed to using our influence to help ensure the right of nations to live within secure, internationally recognized borders. We also remain committed to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity, and national unity of Lebanon.

There is much work to be done to reach a peaceful settlement. We must not let the passions of the moment distract us from that task. As President Clinton has said,

The division today in the Middle East is not between Arab and Jew. It is between those who are reaching for a better tomorrow and those who have retreated into the pointless, bloody hostility of yesterday. We must be clear; those reaching for the future will prevail.

All history tells us that extremists and terrorists will persist in efforts to slow or derail the process towards peace in the Middle East. All history tells us that we must defeat those efforts, and encourage the parties to continue to talk directly to each other about their differences, and about the ways and means of a permanent peace. Direct contact, across the bargaining table, not the battlefield, is the only path by which true security for people throughout the region may be obtained.

Mr. Plumbly (United Kingdom): This is likely to be a long debate, and my delegation has already expressed its views on another aspect of the Middle East question. I do not therefore intend to speak at great length. There is a tendency in the work of this Council towards more open debates as a way of orienting the Council's consideration of an issue and exposing it to the views of those most directly concerned. In that sense we understand and support the request of the Government of Lebanon for today's formal meeting and have listened closely to the interventions so far, in particular those of the delegations of Israel and Lebanon.

There are, however, limits to the utility of debate if it obscures what is, I believe, the overriding concern of all in this room: to achieve an end to the cycle of violence and a return to the peace process. My Government has condemned the continuing rocket and other attacks by Hezbollah on northern Israel, which have led to civilian casualties. We have placed on record our deep concern at the loss of life we are now seeing among civilians in Lebanon, and the severe humanitarian problems created by the departure of so many people from southern Lebanon in the face of attacks on population centres.

But expressions of concern are not enough. It seems to my delegation that what we must do is focus on the most urgent requirement, which is for all parties to move to restore peace and a measure of stability in southern Lebanon. Attacks directed at civilian targets must end. The 1993 arrangement should be respected, or a more effective one put in its place. We pay tribute to the efforts of the United States and others to that end. Senior officials of the British Government are currently in the region, and we will do all we can to support such efforts, and to encourage the only possible long-term solution: resumption of the peace process, in accordance with the relevant Security Council resolutions, including resolution 425 (1978), with the aim of creating a situation in which the citizens of all States in the region can live securely within their borders, free from fear of external attack.

Mr. Wlosowicz (Poland): At the outset, the Polish delegation wishes to express its deep concern at the escalation of armed tensions in southern Lebanon. We do not accept military means as a solution to the problems of the Middle East. This is why we deplore rocket attacks launched at northern Israel as well as the air bombardment of Lebanon. Such actions victimize the civilian population, which is unacceptable. The Middle East peace process is in jeopardy.

Poland, always guided by the principles of respect for territorial integrity, the sovereignty of States and the peaceful resolution of conflicts, firmly confirms its attachment to the right of nations to a secure and peaceful existence. We are strongly against any form of violence, the resort to which always gives rise to stumbling blocks on the path towards dialogue, coexistence and understanding. This truth has been confirmed by the history of the Middle East. Violence must not determine the fate of the peoples who inhabit that territory.

We call upon all the parties involved to exercise self-restraint and to refrain from any actions that might result in further escalation of tensions in the region. We further appeal to the sides in the conflict to take all necessary measures to ensure peace and regional stability. In this context, we deem it important to underscore the need for cooperation by the parties concerned with the Security Council, with a view to implementing resolution 425 (1978).

Since the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) forces are instrumental in this process we insist that the parties renounce any action that might endanger their safety and security. We call upon them to refrain from creating situations which might put at risk the civilian population living on either side of the Israeli-Lebanese border and to respect the pertinent international conventions which are in force in this regard.

May I add that Poland supports the statement of the European Union presented on this item by the delegation of Italy.

Mr. Elaraby (Egypt) (interpretation from Arabic): The mere fact that the Security Council is meeting twice in one day to consider Israeli measures against two Arab peoples is a source of grave concern. That concern is all the greater when we recall that there is an ongoing peace process to settle the Arab-Israeli conflict. This began in Madrid and has thus far resulted in an agreement on the principles of a historic reconciliation between Israel and the Palestinians as well as a peace treaty with Jordan. Any observer of the situation in the Middle East must realize the gravity of the dangers facing the region as a result of continuing Israeli attacks to the north, the east and the south.

Israel is waging aggression by air, sea and land against Lebanon. This is aggression against Lebanon's sovereignty and territorial integrity, aggression that extends from Tyre in the south, to Beirut, the capital, to Tripoli in the north. Dozens have died, and many more innocent unarmed civilians have been hurt.

The Israeli Government claims that this aggression is self-defence and that it is merely a limited measure or a surgical operation to eliminate Hezbollah
combatants. Israel has constantly justified its repeated aggression against Lebanon's sovereignty by invoking the right of self defence in the face of individual attacks from southern Lebanon.

It has resorted to that rationale to invade Lebanon, to attack its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and to continue occupying part of southern Lebanese territory on the pretext of ensuring northern Israel's security. We must take a stand against such claims. The facts show that for the past two decades the Israeli occupation has not guaranteed security for Israel's citizens. On the contrary, it has led to further movement towards violent opposition by those who grew up under the heel of the occupation. All the evidence points to the fact that individuals have taken up opposition, extremism and violence as a means to end Israeli occupation. This is a direct, inevitable result of their oppression and suffering. Moreover, we can find no appropriate justification for these intense Israeli raids: the five-day bombardment of Lebanese population centres, towns and villages, leading to the death of dozens, the wounding of approximately 100 and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Lebanese. Any fair-minded observer will conclude that these raids have become an all-out war against an entire people, not simply against those few who have directed bombs against northern Israel.

Any armed aggression against a neighbouring State, whatever the motive, constitutes prohibited aggression. Yet self-defence too has rules prescribed by the United Nations and contemporary international law. First and foremost, under Article 51 of the Charter, there must have been an actual armed attack. Firing Katyusha rockets across borders is indeed a proscribed act which must cease forthwith. This is clear. However, the armistice agreement between Lebanon and Israel continues officially to stand; the mechanisms provided for in the armistice should have been invoked to deal with these events.

Secondly, the situation should have been put to the Security Council. Israel and Lebanon are parties to the peace process, and are negotiating directly on a peaceful settlement to their dispute on the basis of land for peace. During these negotiations Israel can raise such issues. Agreement may be reached between both parties on security guarantees based not on military hegemony, but on mutual confidence.

Thirdly, self-defence by States is not a blank cheque to be used to wage aggression on others. An element of proportionality is involved. The scale, duration and objective of military activity must be proportionate to the reason for such activity.

Nor can we consider that Israel was unable to invoke other means, such as the Security Council or other channels, to find the means to obtain security. This is contemporary international law. But, even if we were to take a step back to the nineteenth century we would find that the international community had agreed more than 150 years ago to specific terms for the use of self-defence. Daniel Webster, then Secretary of State of the United States of America, declared that the right of self-defence implied the instant and overwhelming necessity for self-defence, leaving no choice of means and no time for deliberation. Lacking these conditions, the use of military force is considered an act of reprisal prohibited by international law. The Security Council has had occasion to condemn such acts many times in the past.

Egypt has repeatedly asserted the need to put an end to Israeli attacks against Lebanese territory and sovereignty. Today Egypt calls on the Security Council to shoulder its responsibility to put an end to those attacks through specific measures leading to an immediate cease-fire, an immediate end to military activities and a full Israeli withdrawal to the internationally recognized borders.

The time has come for Israel to act in a civilized manner in its relations with Lebanon, recognizing Lebanon's sovereignty and satisfying the requirements of Security Council resolutions, particularly resolution 425 (1978), which calls on Israel to cease its military action against Lebanese territorial integrity and to withdraw its forces from all Lebanese territory. In this appeal, we do not set aside Israel's right indeed, every State's right to demand an end to attacks against its citizens.

The United Nations can play a pivotal role in implementing security guarantees in southern Lebanon, either through the Armistice Commission or through the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), which was created by the Security Council under resolution 425 (1978) to ensure complete Israeli withdrawal, to regain peace and security and to help the Lebanese Government to regain effective control over the south of the country. We hope that the United Nations will provide assistance to the Lebanese Government to deal with the humanitarian needs arising from the displacement of so many Lebanese from their homes, towns and villages.

We hope that the Israeli Government will heed the will of the international community, as represented by the Security Council, and that it will put an end to its attacks against Lebanon, so that security and stability, for which the Lebanese people so bravely continue to strive, will return despite the difficulties the country now faces.

Mr. Mano Queta (Guinea-Bissau) (interpretation from French): The peace process in the Middle East could be jeopardized if the international community and the parties concerned do not act to halt the military escalation in southern Lebanon and to relaunch the peace process that is under way in the region. The recent military operations against cities and towns in southern Lebanon must be the concern of the entire international community, because they violate the relevant resolutions of the Security Council, in particular resolution 425 (1978).

As we have already said on many occasions, our country has condemned the acts of terrorism recently perpetrated in Israel against the innocent civilian population. None the less, we deplore any act of violence that could bring suffering to innocent people, wherever they may be. In this respect, we wish to express our full solidarity with the civilian population of Lebanon and, in particular, with the families of the victims. These cycles of violence serve only to give rise to renewed feelings of hatred in the region, which jeopardize peace and security.

For humanitarian reasons, we urgently appeal to the international community to come to the aid of the suffering population of Lebanon.

In conclusion, we reiterate our conviction and our hope that, with determination and goodwill on the part of all those concerned, the provisions of the peace accords will soon be relaunched in the region so that a just, lasting and comprehensive peace can be established in the Middle East. We thus call for an immediate cease-fire so that negotiations can resume.

The President (interpretation from Spanish): I shall now make a statement in my capacity as the representative of Chile.

What is happening today in Lebanon is a throwback to conditions we thought had been overcome. Lebanon and its people have suffered a great deal over the past decades. While many questions remained to be resolved, we were pleased to see how that country was returning to a process of normalcy. Its population, known for its hard work, was attempting to overcome the ravages of confrontation.

The attacks by Hezbollah in northern Israel and those by Israeli military planes and other means on various areas of Lebanese territory only bring back that nightmare of the past. All military activity must come to an immediate end. In our view, this military escalation cannot continue.

Israeli planes and helicopters have attacked Beirut for the first time in 14 years. The number of deaths, including those of innocent civilians, increases daily as a result of these actions. Again we have witnessed the tragedy of thousands of persons fleeing from their homes towards the north of Lebanon, in a quest for safety nearly 800,000 refugees and displaced persons. We are concerned at the humanitarian situation. We must support the work of the humanitarian agencies in Lebanon, which Chile is doing through the Red Cross.

On the other hand, we cannot fail to mention the attacks by Hezbollah, which have wounded many people in northern Israel, from where many Israelis also have fled to the south in search of safety.

At this time we cannot but support the appeal that was made by the Secretary-General, Mr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, to all parties to refrain from escalating the violence across the Israeli-Lebanese border, reiterating his concern at the continued hostilities and in particular at the attacks against civilians. We also support the recent steps taken by France in this connection.

The international community must not permit any group to use violence and terror as a means of imposing its point of view. Terror, anonymous or official, is not the way. Nothing can be achieved through those channels, but a great deal can be lost if this type of action continues, in particular the peace process in the Middle East.

We appeal to the Government of Israel to put an end, as soon as possible, to its armed incursions into Lebanese territory and to apply the principle of proportionality.

Furthermore, we reaffirm our support for Security Council resolution 425 (1978), which demanded that Israel cease its military action against Lebanese territorial integrity and withdraw its forces from all the territory of that country.

We also have told all those who believe it possible to achieve their objectives through terrorism that it is completely clear to the international community that nothing can justify acts of terrorism against human beings, who stand above and beyond States. Acts of terrorism bring about only death, destruction, misery, hatred and the urge for revenge.

The true fight is the fight for peace, for the security of all human beings and for the integrated development of the entire region. It is towards that objective that Israelis, Palestinians, Lebanese and the citizens of the entire Middle East must turn. With determination, tolerance and shared work, they will be able to achieve a better world, worthy of their children and their children's children. The United Nations will have to be watchful so that it can support them in every way towards that end.

I now resume my functions as President of the Council.

The next speaker is the representative of the United Arab Emirates. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.

Mr. Samhan (United Arab Emirates) (interpretation from Arabic): The Security Council is meeting today for the second time, following the open debate held on the request of the Group of Arab States for an open meeting of the Council on the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories, including Jerusalem. At this second meeting we are considering the complaint of the sister Republic of Lebanon about Israeli aggression against Lebanon's sovereignty and territorial integrity. Both cases show the international concern over Israeli conduct and over its aggression against Arab States.

On behalf of the United Arab Emirates and as Chairman of the Arab Group for this month, I would like to extend to you, Mr. President, and to the members of the Council my thanks for having taken action in response to the request by Lebanon in order to study the serious aggression to which it has been subjected for the past week. That arbitrary aggression by Israel has resulted in half a million citizens from the southern part of Lebanon fleeing their homes and in the destruction of the civil infrastructure of dwellings.

We have heard the statement by His Excellency the representative of the sister Republic of Lebanon. In his statement, he spoke in some detail of Israeli aggression against his country. I should just like to add that all of the Arab States are monitoring the Israeli aggression with great concern. We strongly condemn it, and we fully support the Government and the people of Lebanon. The Arab States also reaffirm Lebanon's right to defend its territory. All necessary measures will be taken to help the people of Lebanon stand up to this flagrant aggression.

Israel's bombardment of the capital of Lebanon, Beirut, as well as of towns and villages, its blockade of Lebanese ports and the killing of innocent civilians, including women, children and elderly people, constitute not just a blatant violation of the security, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Lebanon, which is a member of this international Organization and of the League of Arab States, but also a serious threat to peace and security in the region and in the world. These acts are also an obstacle to peace, an obstacle created by Israel because of electoral considerations and extremism. These obstacles make the situation more difficult and jeopardize the objective of peace, which is the aspiration of the Arab States and of our peoples.

The tragic pictures that one sees on television show a gross violation of the principles of international law and of the humanitarian covenants, pacts and principles governing the treatment of civilians in time of war. The most obvious example of this was Israel's firing at an ambulance, resulting in the deaths of two women and four children. The arbitrary bombardments of civilian regions are also a violation of humanitarian law and of the Fourth Geneva Convention. The International Committee of the Red Cross issued a statement condemning those Israeli actions, which led to the deaths of many innocent civilians.

The members of the international community, the Security Council and the sponsors of the peace process must fully shoulder their responsibility to deter Israel from continuing its aggression against Lebanon. A resolution condemning this aggression and including the necessary measures to put an end to it should be adopted. Today the new international order is trying to support efforts for peace. However, these efforts for peace cannot lead to a just and lasting solution if the bloodshed continues under the pretext of securing Israeli borders and putting an end to acts of resistance by Lebanon. Israeli troops must withdraw completely from the territories in southern Lebanon that have been occupied since 1978. The Republic of Lebanon has resisted, and it is trying to establish its sovereignty over all its territory, including the south. This is its legitimate right under the Charter of the United Nations and relevant Security Council resolutions, particularly resolution 425 (1978). It is time for Israel to realize this and to withdraw from all Lebanese territory, pursuant to that resolution.

I wish to take this opportunity to urge the international community to provide emergency humanitarian assistance to Lebanon to ease the suffering of its people, suffering caused by the Israeli destruction of the economic and social infrastructure, which is vital to life, and its aggression against civilians, particularly children, the elderly and women.

The President (interpretation from Spanish): The next speaker is the representative of Saudi Arabia. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.

Mr. Allagany (Saudi Arabia) (interpretation from Arabic): We meet once again today to discuss the new and painful developments in the Middle East. The Security Council is the highest international political body entrusted with the task of protecting countries from brute aggression. It is supposed to follow up its resolutions, and we believe that meetings of the Council, held as the situation warrants, to look into the Israeli aggression can only promote the peace process in the Middle East.

For the fifth day in a row Israel continues by sea, air and land to wage its military campaign, known as the grapes of wrath, against the civilians in Lebanon. The military campaign in Lebanon started in the south but moved to all the regions of the country. The wounded and the dead number in the hundreds, and more than 600,000 Lebanese have been displaced.

This blatant aggression against Lebanon this violation of its national sovereignty is unjustified and is in contravention of international laws and norms on the sovereignty of States. It runs counter to the letter and the spirit of resolution 425 (1978), which calls upon Israel to withdraw from the occupied Lebanese territories.

Israel today warned the inhabitants of 40 Lebanese villages to leave their homes lest they see them destroyed. Homes were destroyed in the region of Beit Sahmar in the western Bekaa, where whole families were buried under rubble.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia believes that it is unreasonable and unacceptable to continue to pressure Lebanon using aerial and sea bombardment, thus claiming the lives of many innocent civilians, destroying their property and leading to their displacement. This comes in addition to the sea blockade imposed by Israel upon northern and southern Lebanon. It is unreasonable and unacceptable that the women and children of Lebanon should be the first victims of this blatant aggression.

We all saw on television the ambulance which was the target of an aerial bombardment that claimed the lives of the infant named Muna, three-year-old Zena, four-year-old Leila, five-year-old Hassan, as well as their mother and father. And then the official spokesman of the occupation authorities would say only that the ambulance was targeted for aerial bombardment because a Lebanese resistance element was in it. It was an ambulance it was saving the wounded.

But the Israeli authorities only keep claiming that this is an operation to pursue Lebanese resistance elements. Are the Israeli authorities saying that Lebanese civilians specifically the children bear full responsibility for the resistance and that they will make no effort to implement resolution 425 (1978), which calls upon them to withdraw immediately and unconditionally from Lebanese territories?

Lebanon cannot be responsible for what happens in the south. It cannot be responsible for all these operations of resistance to Israeli occupation in that part of Lebanon unless the Lebanese army is allowed to enter the south to impose order and to complete Lebanon's sovereignty over all its territories. Failing that, the Lebanese Government cannot be held responsible for what happens in the south.

The principle of land for peace is still awaiting the concept of land. The principle of withdrawal is still obscured by the expression re-deployment. Israel is calling for the elimination of resistance without withdrawing from the south without any guarantee that it will implement resolution 425 (1978) and other resolutions of international legality on the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Lebanon has entered its post-civil-war recovery period, and the Government has been rebuilding its infrastructure. It has borne the effects of the crisis in the Middle East, and continues to be the victim of continued aggression. The peace process that began in Madrid four years ago was based on a comprehensive, just and lasting solution meaning land for peace and the implementation of resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 425 (1978). As long as more than one eighth of Lebanon is occupied and Israeli raids continue to blow up power stations, to interrupt daily life, to stifle the population with their aerial bombardment, killing women, children and the elderly before the eyes of the entire international community, the Security Council's equating of aggressor and victim in its approach to Lebanon's complaints will remain devoid of justice.

We are looking for real, permanent peace in the Middle East, and a permanent settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict. We appeal to the international community to adopt a unified stand against this senseless Israeli aggression against Lebanon and immediately to provide assistance to the Lebanese. We appeal to the co-sponsors of the Middle East peace process to pressure Israel to implement the agreements into which it has entered and to achieve progress on the Lebanese and Syrian tracks by implementing resolutions of international legality, so that the rights can revert to those who possess them and the land to those who own it. Then we can call it a just and lasting settlement.

The President (interpretation from Spanish): The next speaker is the representative of the Syrian Arab Republic. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.

Mr. Hallak (Syrian Arab Republic) (interpretation from Arabic): The Security Council is meeting for the second time today to take up Israeli practices in occupied lands and blatant aggression against Lebanon. The extensive military aggression that Israel has been waging against Lebanon for the past five days marks a serious escalation of tension and poses a threat to peace and stability in the region. This aggression has targeted population centres in many towns and villages all the way up to the capital, Beirut. It has caused the death of dozens; it has wounded hundreds of innocent Lebanese civilians; more than half a million Lebanese have been forcibly displaced from their towns and villages. Furthermore, infrastructure has been destroyed; vital installations, including shelters and power stations, have been destroyed. In this context, I must mention that the world will never forget the frightful sight transmitted on television stations everywhere of four children killed by Israeli aircraft while in an ambulance on their way to hospital.

Lebanon accepted the peace process that began at the Madrid conference on the basis of the conference goal of establishing a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East based on the implementation of resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 425 (1978), and on the principle of land for peace. Lebanon has also cooperated with the efforts of the two co-sponsors of the peace process towards that end. However, Lebanese efforts have come up against Israeli intransigence, and Israel's continuing challenge of international legitimacy through its failure to implement resolution 425 (1978) and through waging a new, wide-ranging act of aggression.

In the face of these grave developments proceeding from the Israeli aggression against Lebanon and of the tragic situation of the Lebanese people today, the Security Council is duty-bound not to ignore the failure to respect and to implement its own resolutions. That would jeopardize its role and its duty to maintain international peace and security.

Israel's security has been the pretext invoked by Israel for waging all its wars of aggression, even though it must realize that genuine security cannot be achieved through continuing occupation. Genuine security will be achieved through the withdrawal from all occupied territories and through the implementation of a just and comprehensive peace; it will not be achieved through further aggression against the Lebanese people.

It must be remembered that occupation is not conducive to peace and security. Force has not succeeded in the past, and will not succeed now or in the future and it will not achieve security for Israel.

The extremism exemplified in the aggression against Lebanon proves that Israel is attempting to back away from the peace process, from the achievement of a just and comprehensive peace.

The members of the Security Council, particularly its permanent members, must therefore shoulder their responsibilities immediately in order to put an end to Israeli aggression against Lebanon and to avoid a further grave deterioration of the situation in the region.

We should also like to affirm here that the aggression against Lebanon, the continued Israeli intransigence, would not have taken place or continued had the Security Council been firm in adopting the measures necessary to make Israel implement resolution 425 (1978), which unambiguously called upon Israel to withdraw immediately and unconditionally from all Lebanese territories. It is unacceptable for legitimate international resolutions, particularly those of the Security Council, to be held hostage to Israel's aggressive instincts or expansionist ambitions.

Syria has made the strategic choice of working towards the achievement of a just and comprehensive peace. We have made a serious contribution to overcoming all the political and practical obstacles Israel has put in the way of the peace process. Syria continues to believe that the establishment of genuine peace in the region is incompatible with continuing occupation and acts of aggression. Peace can be achieved through a commitment to implement the relevant Security Council resolutions and if Israel erects no further obstacles to the peace process.

We call upon the Security Council to intervene immediately to put an end to Israeli aggression against Lebanon and to make Israel heed the will of the international community, to guarantee Lebanon's sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity.

In the face of continuing Israeli aggression against Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic condemns the flagrant Israeli aggression against our brother, Lebanon. We support the demand of the Permanent Representative of Lebanon that Israeli aggression be condemned, that Israel be forced immediately to cease its aggression, and that the Council remain seized of this grave situation.

The President (interpretation from Spanish): The next speaker is the representative of Cuba. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.

Mr. Rodríguez Parrilla (Cuba) (interpretation from Spanish): The aggression which Israel is perpetrating against Lebanon must be halted immediately and the occupied territories must be returned. The Security Council must reaffirm all the provisions of resolution 425 (1978) and take the measures necessary to bring about its implementation.

The situation of acts of aggression against Lebanon is untenable. A growing loss of human life is being added to the material costs. Air-, sea- and land-based attacks on all parts of Lebanon, which violate international law and the Charter of the United Nations, are bringing new suffering to the Lebanese civilian population, which is most affected by these attacks. To the numerous civilian casualties an increase of more than 600,000 in the number of displaced persons has been added.

Life in southern Lebanon, already permanently affected by continued Israeli occupation, is becoming even more precarious under current conditions. More than 50 villages and cities have been evacuated; areas near the capital of Lebanon are being attacked, and the city of Tyre is threatened with bombardment some of its archaeological zones have already been damaged by Israel's attacks. No part of the country has escaped these acts of aggression; even Palestinian camps in the north of the country have been bombed.

The targets being bombed are civilian and of economic importance to Lebanon. We wonder whether these belligerent actions also represent an attempt to thwart Lebanese economic recovery, which was on the right track after years of war, or to terrorize the civilian population and create movements of refugees in order to create more difficulties for the Lebanese authorities in the process of rebuilding the country.

Cuba considers that the actions unleashed today against Lebanon, which constitute an unacceptable violation of the sovereignty of that country, increase the corollary danger of an escalation that would be difficult to control and could have unforeseeable consequences for the region. The attacks on Lebanon endanger the peace process in the Middle East as a whole and place one more obstacle in its way, especially when they are added to the actions taken against the Palestinian population, which were denounced in the Security Council earlier today. Only the withdrawal of Israel from the occupied territories can ensure the peace and security of the region.

Cuba rejects terrorism in all its forms. The Cuban people have been victims of terrorist acts for over 35 years. These acts perpetrated by Israel, instead of ending the escalation of violence, will tend to provoke more violence. Instead of mitigating tension, they will exacerbate it. Instead of promoting confidence, they will inevitably magnify distrust. The Security Council must unequivocally condemn Israeli aggression against Lebanon, against its civilian population, its infrastructure and the archaeological sites that have been proclaimed the common heritage of mankind. It must take all necessary measures to halt this aggression. To fail to do so would be like decreeing impunity for Israeli actions against Lebanon, which would have a harmful effect not only on that country and on the security of its population, but also on international peace and security. It would set a precedent making it possible to launch attacks on and violate the sovereignty of a State, to kill and destroy with impunity if one has the right friends and if they wield enough power in the Security Council.

If ending aggression is important, it is also important to achieve the approval of an integral programme of cooperation with Lebanon to provide its Government with the necessary resources to heal the wounds caused by the aggression. Furthermore, the Security Council should remain in session until this new and dangerous threat to international peace and security comes to a halt.

The President (interpretation from Spanish): The next speaker is the representative of Kuwait. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.

Mr. Abulhasan (Kuwait) (interpretation from Arabic): It is perhaps unprecedented in the history of the deliberations of the Security Council that the Council should be convened twice in one day to debate two different subjects with the complaint being against the same party in both cases. As was discussed in the Council this morning, Israel's inhuman retaliatory measures undermine the foundations of peace in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The Council is now discussing the Israeli aggression that began five days ago against Lebanon, an independent country and a Member of the United Nations. This aggression is directed against its sovereignty, its territorial integrity and its people a people with a great history and civilization, a people that has been sincere in its efforts to achieve peace, security, prosperity and progress for itself and for the peoples of the region.

The common denominator in both complaints is the approach adopted by Israel in dealing with developments in the area, an approach that knows nothing except the logic of brute force, oppression and collective punishment as a means of resolving disputes. It does not believe that peace and security are also based upon the implementation of demands of international legitimacy, foremost among which are the resolutions of the Security Council.

Israel, more than any other country, should learn the lessons of the tragic experiences that it has brought upon its neighbouring countries. Having tasted their bitterness, Israel should heed those lessons and not adopt again the method of revenge, which has brought to the region only instability, destruction, misery, frustration and extremism, all at the expense of the desired peace and economic development. The path to peace has never been and never will be easy. It requires great care, effort and sacrifices.

Peace will not die. It will not be made into a mirage unless military logic prevails and military power is used excessively to deal with every little incident.

For the past five days Lebanon has faced blatant aggression and is still facing it. Security and peace are threatened not only in Lebanon, but in the Middle East as a whole. This will lead to uncontrollable consequences unless the roots of the problem Israel's continued occupation and its refusal to accept Lebanon's legitimate right to rid itself of that occupation can be dealt with.

Israel has ignored Security Council resolution 425 (1978), and all appeals made by the Council and by regional and international organizations have fallen on deaf ears. It has paid absolutely no heed to the tragedy and pain left by its aggressive and oppressive policy against the Lebanese people. It has never respected the central concept of the Madrid Peace Conference based on the principle of land for peace which was supposed to be a historic turning point in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Israel wants to maintain its occupation of the territories through brute military force, under the pretext of ensuring security for some of its territories. At the same time, it wants peace with all, but a peace that takes no account whatsoever of the legitimate rights of others, or of their political, economic or social stability.

We have seen in the media pictures of the destruction wrought on Lebanon: the killing of innocent women, children and elderly people; the displacement of some 800,000 Lebanese in the south, which His Excellency the Ambassador of Lebanon described earlier; and the destruction of Lebanon's infrastructure, which was recently rebuilt by the Lebanese Government after difficult years of instability. Kuwait feels the pain of the brotherly Lebanese people and shares its feelings during this painful experience.

Kuwait condemns this aggression; expresses its full solidarity with the brotherly Lebanese people and its Government. It calls upon the Security Council to adopt all necessary measures to stop the aggression immediately and bring pressure to bear on Israel, by all the means that the Charter provides, to withdraw from occupied Lebanese territories and in implementation of resolution 425 (1978). Furthermore, it urges the Council to provide all the assistance, including political and financial support, that Lebanon needs to cope with its plight and to pay great attention to the human tragedy of forced displacement of people brought about by Israel's military might.

The Council of Ministers at a meeting in Kuwait last Sunday adopted a statement to this effect, and the Government of Kuwait has extended urgent assistance to face this tragedy.

The only way open to the Council is to commit Israel to implement resolution 425 (1978), by withdrawing completely and unconditionally from all occupied Lebanese territory, and not to interfere in Lebanon's internal affairs, thereby giving the flowers of peace an opportunity to bloom. It should set out on the path of peace, using wisdom, reason and self-control.

We support the peace process in the Middle East. This process, which was started at the Madrid Conference, will not achieve success unless peace is comprehensive and just, not limited to one track while the other is ignored; peace in which half-baked solutions are not accepted; peace of partners aiming to achieve equality, security, stability and economic development, without diktat, selectivity or the granting of favours.

We appeal to the co-sponsors of the peace process not to let hope the hope of the Conference dissipate and to advocate the essence of the Conference, namely, land for peace.

The President (interpretation from Spanish): The next speaker is the representative of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.

Mr. Azwai (Libyan Arab Jamahiriya) (interpretation from Arabic): The Security Council is meeting for the second time today to consider events in the Middle East.

This morning the Council met to consider Israeli practices in the occupied territories, practices that, as is well known, have reached a level of harshness that may destroy the dreams of peace of the most ardent optimists. None the less, the Security Council merely heard the statements of a number of countries without taking any measures. We all know the reasons.

The Council is meeting this evening to consider the crimes perpetrated by the Israelis against the brother people of Lebanon, crimes perpetrated using military machinery of all kinds to bombard towns and villages in Lebanon with the pretext of attacking Hezbollah bases. The media have shown us columns upon columns of women and children. Are those children the fighters and combatants of Hezbollah? Those other children, torn to pieces, in an ambulance are they also combatants? Do they deserve to be bombed in order to be an example to others?

What is the reason for all this Israeli madness, for such muscle-flexing and violence? It is that the Lebanese resistance has hit the forces of an occupation rejected by the entire world, an occupation on which the Security Council adopted resolution 425 (1978), demanding Israel's withdrawal from all Lebanese territory.

Although 18 years have passed, Israel has not implemented that resolution. Israel continues to occupy a part of southern Lebanon, on the pretext that Lebanese resistance continues to fight for its land. What logic is this that calls on the victim to put an end to resisting the aggressor? The Israelis, by this air, land and sea blitz on Lebanon, want to impose the unthinkable on the Lebanese authorities: they want the Lebanese authorities to put an end to the Lebanese resistance, and then to stand guard for the occupying army until it is sated by its occupation. Ultimately, they want to terrorize the Arab and Islamic nations. They want them to kneel, to accept the fait accompli and, finally, hoist the white flag.

We call upon the Security Council today to intervene forcefully: not merely to condemn Israeli aggression but to order the Israelis to withdraw immediately from southern Lebanon, in accordance with resolution 425 (1978), and to compensate Lebanon for all the human and material losses it has suffered as a result of this occupation and this aggression.

We call upon the international community to remind Israel and the United States of America, which has given its blessing to these acts of aggression that this barbaric aggression against Lebanon and the humiliating manner in which Palestinians are being treated in the occupied territories do not serve security and do not make peace. Rather, they merely push every Arab to the very brink of despair. If the Security Council does not act to put an end forthwith to this blatant aggression, the negative repercussions will be graver than what Israel imagines. The river has turned into a roiling torrent. As the Arabic poem says,

If death is inevitable, shame on you if you die a coward.

The President (interpretation from Spanish): The next speaker is the representative of Algeria. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.

Mr. Lamamra (Algeria) (interpretation from French): For five days now, the territory of Lebanon has been overwhelmed by an onslaught of Israeli aggressive violence, which has caused the death of many innocent civilians as well as considerable material damage.

The Government of Algeria has strongly condemned these recent acts of Israeli aggression, perpetrated in violation of the basic rules of international law and of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Lebanon. It also believes that by resorting to force in this way, Israel has done grave damage to the necessary conditions for the establishment of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, which is a legitimate aspiration of all peoples in the region.

Almost 20 years have elapsed since the Security Council adopted resolution 425 (1978), requiring Israel's unconditional withdrawal from southern Lebanon. In that resolution, the Council took a step in keeping with the Charter of the United Nations and with the requirements of international relations, which must be protected from unilateral faits accomplis based on relations of force. Since then, the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon, which has continued, has been a hotbed of fermenting violence, spawning an infernal logic that has thwarted regional stability and the commendable efforts of the Lebanese Government to establish State authority throughout the whole of its territory. Thus, the implementation of resolution 425 (1978), for which the Council set no preconditions, is more than ever as an absolute necessity. The futility of territorial bargaining chips has been proved time and again, and the human price of military actions can go no higher without imperiling the prospects for peace throughout the whole region.

Since the Security Council stopped regularly taking up developments in the situation in southern Lebanon and since the renewal of the mandate of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon does not involve an evaluation of efforts made in the implementation of resolution 425 (1978), an unfortunate phenomenon has arisen that of becoming inured to recurrent outbreaks of violence and the accompanying upheavals for the civilian population. But recent events in Lebanon are of such magnitude and scope that a reaction by the international community is urgently needed to avoid a double catastrophe humanitarian and political. The Council, and particularly its permanent members, must be moved by the gravity of the situation to act resolutely and effectively so that the future of peace and security to which the peoples of the region aspire is not further jeopardized.

The President (interpretation from Spanish): The next speaker is the representative of Afghanistan. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.

Mr. Farhadi (Afghanistan) (interpretation from French): The Afghan delegation deeply appreciates your decision, Mr. President, and that of the other members of the Council to convene this meeting.

We heard the voice of Ambassador Moubarak of Lebanon and the statement of the Ambassador of Israel. We also heard other delegations, from countries which, in some cases, are very well versed in the situation in the region. We know that the Secretary-General remains deeply concerned by the continuation of hostilities along the Israeli-Lebanese border and within Lebanon.

Someone who was there the Commander of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon has lodged a protest with the head of the liaison unit of the Israeli Defence Force, expressing his fear that this action could lead to a further escalation of violence.

Israel speaks to us of self-defence. Let us compare the number of dead and wounded on the two sides of the border. Is there any proportionality? Does Israel believe that by acting as Israel puts it in self-defence, it has the right to exceed all the limits? The Israeli military actions of the last five days have been extremely violent. They have exhibited no restraint, aiming at civilians, including women and children. Does Israel believe that it will achieve peace by such means? Does Israel believe that by running counter to the spirit of the peace process, it can claim to strengthen that process?

Has Israel asked itself what there is to gain by forcing thousands of innocent civilians to flee from their homes, by engendering suffering and hatred among the peoples neighbouring Israel? Can that country improve its future security? In asking these questions my delegation is not seeking to teach Israel lessons, but we have the fundamental right to ask ourselves those questions. Faced with the tragedy of the Lebanese people, and looking at this escalation of acts of violence and unrestrained acts of revenge, we wonder how this can encourage the peace process in the region. How can these military actions, running counter to resolution 425 (1978), which reaffirms in absolute terms the importance of the sovereignty of Lebanon, encourage the maintenance of peace and especially the coexistence of nations in adjacent territories in the future? What are the political and ideological consequences of a massive flight of civilians, so massive that it is beyond the potential of Lebanon itself and even of the international community to provide enough assistance?

Once again Israel, by such attacks against innocent civilians, is violating article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, of which it is a signatory. Can this escalation of violence lead to an end of violence? Can these losses of human life, as a result of destructive airpower, bring about good neighbourliness in the future between men on Earth? Does rocket fire against ambulances work in favour of peace and the future? By destroying one's neighbours' villages, can one build a future for peace?

Israel did not turn to the Security Council before undertaking these large-scale military activities. For the last five days these vast attacks have been taking place from land, air and sea. Israel, contrary to its claims, has not exhausted peaceful means. We therefore ask the United Nations to take effective and necessary measures for the establishment of a cease-fire, so that resolution 425 (1978) can be fully applied.

The President (interpretation from Spanish): The next speaker is the representative of Morocco. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.

Mr. Snoussi (Morocco) (interpretation from French): The Security Council is meeting for a second time today to deal with problems of the Middle East region, a region that we had thought was entering a new era of peace and stability. This interest is a tribute to the Council. More specifically, this evening we are dealing with the tragic events experienced by our fraternal country of Lebanon during these past days, calling into question the hopes that we all had for peace in a country which for so long now has suffered and still suffers in its blood and its flesh.

This morning the Prime Minister of Lebanon, Mr. Hariri, informed His Majesty The King of the tragic events that had taken place. The Kingdom of Morocco and its sovereign expressed their condolences to him, and I renew those condolences to the delegation of Lebanon. The tragic situation that has been created in southern Lebanon is of great concern to my country, because it has dimmed the prospects and hopes for peace in the region, and the situation could degenerate into an uncontrollable conflict. The innocent civilian victims, particularly the women and children, give this conflict a terrible, tragic dimension.

My country wishes to salute the international efforts to put an end to the military operations against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Lebanon. We hope that this unfortunate development, which we deplore, will call attention to the need finally to implement Security Council resolution 425 (1978) and once and for all eliminate a hotbed of tension which has lasted too long. The Security Council has a role to play here, and it must do everything possible now so that these tragic events are not repeated and so that Lebanon can salve its wounds and, through urgent and significant humanitarian aid, rebuild what has been destroyed.

The principles contained in the resolution remain the basis for a just, lasting settlement of the conflict between Lebanon and Israel and for regional stability. It is high time to prevent new confrontation and to return to that resolution, which has been somewhat forgotten. It is time now to resume and complete negotiations finally to bring to all the countries of the region mutual respect and security, which means all countries' ensuring that the security of their neighbours is respected.

My delegation reiterates once again that we will continue to support the peace process, which must succeed. Respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Lebanon, the return of the Golan to Syria, in keeping with the relevant United Nations resolutions, and respect for the legitimate interests of all the parties concerned these are the requirements for establishing the comprehensive nature of the Middle East peace process on the basis of international law, opening the way for a Middle East where relationships are finally based on law, justice, development and prosperity. Morocco is determined to do everything possible to contribute to translating this dream into reality in the region.

The President (interpretation from Spanish): The next speaker is the representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.

Mr. Takht-Ravanchi (Islamic Republic of Iran): The Islamic Republic of Iran fully supports the convening of this urgent meeting of the Security Council at the request of the Government of Lebanon, to consider the continuing flagrant violation by Israel of Lebanon's sovereignty and territorial integrity. The last five days have seen an unprecedented escalation in these violations. We hope that today's deliberation under your leadership, Mr. President, will yield positive results.

Israel's premeditated and unbridled aerial and artillery attacks over the past five days against many civilian quarters in towns and villages of Lebanon, including the southern suburbs of Beirut, and its naval blockade of the port of Beirut are prime examples of acts of terrorism by Israeli policy makers, who all too readily and conveniently label others either as terrorists or as supporters of terrorists.

The recent acts of terrorism by an organized cabal of Zionist leaders have resulted in the killing and wounding of several hundred innocent civilians, forcing the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people, more every hour, and have inflicted great material damage in Lebanon. Even a Lebanese ambulance transporting women and children, and Beirut's power station, have not been immune from Israeli attacks and destruction.

Israel's lawless action in Lebanon is a further grave violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Lebanon and of the United Nations Charter. It constitutes a prima facie example of aggression in accordance with General Assembly resolution 3314 (XXIX) of 1974 an aggression and transgression that clearly expose the brutal and unmalleable nature of the Zionist regime to all eyes that are open and willing to see. Regrettably, the eyes of certain States that support and, in practice, sustain Israel are either closed or unwilling to see.

Israel's obstinacy in continuing its bombardment of innocent people in Lebanon, disregarding international outrage and diplomatic initiatives, clearly points to the fact that the Zionist leaders have a pre-planned agenda for the region and will not cease their military operation until their illegal objectives are achieved. The Israeli media blitz to disguise these acts of terrorism under the pretext of taking retaliatory measures does not withstand the most rudimentary tests, and, in fact, adds insult to injury. The victims of occupation and of the recent barbarism of the Israeli military, be they Lebanese or Palestinians, seem to be the sacrificial lambs of internal Zionist politics and rivalries.

Southern Lebanon continues to be under Israeli occupation and aggression in flagrant violation of Security Council resolution 425 (1978), which inter alia, called upon Israel

immediately to cease its military action against Lebanese territorial integrity and withdraw forthwith its forces from all Lebanese territory. (resolution 425 (1978), para. 2)

Whatever happened to the authority and integrity of Security Council resolutions? Who but Israeli ruling circles are responsible for the abysmal degradation of that Security Council resolution over these 18 long years. For 18 years, the Zionist regime has rejected outright the demands of the international community, with impunity.

Another example of Israeli intransigence is the draconian measures it has imposed for more than a month against Palestinian people in the occupied territories. Palestinian people find themselves subject to a blockade of the occupied territories, including Al-Quds al-Sharif closure, reoccupation, demolition of their houses, further expansion of illegal settlements, severe restrictions on the movement of persons and goods and the strangulation of people and their economy as a form of collective punishment. These Israeli measures, which are implemented under the barrel of a gun and which have inflicted untold hardship and sorrow on the Palestinian people, paralysing their lives in an unprecedented fashion, are in total violation of the rules and principles of international law, and should accordingly be condemned and should cease forthwith.

The Islamic Republic of Iran condemns the recent cowardly, though savage, attacks against defenceless civilians in Lebanon, and calls on the Security Council to condemn Israel's recent terrorist acts in Lebanon, which have caused tremendous suffering for a country whose sovereignty and territorial integrity have for a long time been violated by the Israeli occupation forces.

It is incumbent upon the Security Council to adopt specific measures to deal with Israeli intransigence in its non-compliance with Security Council resolution 425 (1978). Israel's violation of international law is so enormous and vivid that a lack of an adequate and necessary response by the Council to these practices will only encourage the aggressor to continue its aggression. The Security Council should prevent this inaction from gaining ground, in order to save the lives of innocent Lebanese civilians and for the sake of its own credibility.

Before concluding I wish to refer to the statement made by the representative of the Zionist regime, who, as usual, resorted to lies about my country. The Islamic Republic of Iran totally rejects these fabrications. It is ironic that the occupying regime not only expects a general surrender and the submission of each and every people and group in the occupied lands, but also wishes to silence any voice speaking in moral support of the Lebanese people, who are struggling to free their homeland from foreign occupation.

The President (interpretation from Spanish): The next speaker is the representative of Tunisia. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.

Mr. Abdellah (Tunisia) (interpretation from Arabic): The Security Council is meeting for the second time in one day to take up the deteriorating situation in Lebanon, having earlier considered a similarly deteriorating situation in the occupied Palestinian territories. This testifies to the international community's concern with regard to the escalation of violence, the extension of military operations, and the growing number of deaths.

Peace in the Middle East is indivisible. That is a fact that we have learned through the bitter experiences of the Israeli-Arab conflicts over recent years.

Today we are experiencing another tragedy in Lebanon, where the cycle of violence and tension is getting worse. Civilian populations are the victims of a whole series of attacks; even the capital itself, Beirut, is under attack. This has caused thousands to be killed or wounded, thousands to be sent into exile, bringing us back to a time which we thought was over forever, just as Lebanon was beginning to salve its wounds, to renew its strength, to regain its health, and to rebuild what war had destroyed.

Lebanon has suffered an act of aggression against its sovereignty and its territorial integrity. This is another form of collective punishment based on the logic of force, violating the basic principles of the Charter and United Nations resolutions, particularly resolution 425 (1978).

This new situation is another obstacle to peace, an inevitable consequence of the climate of tension created by the situation in Palestine and in the region in general.
The situation has reached a point where we fear the consequences.

What has happened to the firm position adopted by Heads of State at Sharm El Sheikh? When they confronted terrorism to safeguard the peace process from erosion or any failure, they condemned all forms of terrorist acts, committed for whatever reason. They urged the international community as a whole to take steps to put an end to terrorist actions, and to root out their causes. We are asked to safeguard the conditions likely to give momentum to the peace process and to prevent regression or failure.

Since 1948, the Middle East region has seen a cycle of violence and counter-violence, leading to the international community's consensus convening of the Madrid Conference, where parties unanimously recognized and adopted the principle of land for peace.

Resolution 425 (1978) called upon Israel to withdraw from southern Lebanon, but that resolution has not yet been implemented, statements made by Israeli leaders notwithstanding. This shows that there is no real desire on the part of those authorities. What Israel really wants is to continue its occupation of Lebanon.

We call upon all parties to safeguard the peace process and to prevent it from stalling or failing. An immediate stop must be put to Israel's operations against Lebanon, and negotiations must begin immediately to withdraw forces and to halt military operations, for bitter experience has shown that such operations are at odds with and cannot attain the goals they are intended for, as they are rooted in vengeance and deepening hatred.

The fact that the Security Council is considering on the same day the situation in Palestine and Lebanon once again shows that the question of the Middle East, with its various ramifications, is a single issue. There is no other way to resolve this crisis than by having the necessary courage to start negotiations on the question of Palestine as soon as possible in order finally to find a solution. Israel must withdraw from southern Lebanon and the Golan in order that the region can finally experience lasting, comprehensive peace and all the peoples of the region can enjoy prosperity and stability, respecting each other and the rule of law.

The President (interpretation from Spanish): The next speaker is the representative of Malaysia. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.

Mr. Thanarajasingam (Malaysia): My delegation would like to express its appreciation to you, Mr. President, for convening this meeting on the situation in Lebanon.

We note that the Permanent Representative of Lebanon, as reflected in document S/1996/280, requested that the Council convene an urgent meeting on the afternoon of Sunday, 14 April, given the grave developments in his country.

Speaking during the debate on Palestine held earlier today, the Malaysian representative referred to the worsening situation in the Middle East. He stated that the combined effect of Israeli action in Palestine and Lebanon at a time of political volatility in Israel itself had reinforced the position of those exploiters in Israel who want to derail the peace process, and of extremists outside Israel who would like to undermine the fragile foundations of peace in the Middle East.

The latest series of Israeli attacks, which began last Thursday, have continued to escalate, threatening the peace process. The large-scale Israeli bombardment of many towns and villages in Lebanon, including its capital, Beirut, has resulted in an alarming number of civilian dead and wounded, thousands of displaced persons and severe damage to property. These acts of aggression cannot but be condemned. It is thus incumbent on the Council, as a first step, to call for an immediate and unconditional end to these acts of aggression against Lebanon.

These attacks have driven hundreds of thousands of innocent people from their homes to take to the refugee path. In turn, the refugee problem has begun to pose serious challenges to the Lebanese Government, which has in recent years made important strides in rebuilding the country's economy and stability. The deliberate attempt to displace innocent people and wilfully create suffering for them cannot be condoned. In this regard, the international community must play its role in addressing the plight and problem of the refugees as well.

The Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon not only violates the sovereignty of Lebanon but is becoming militarily indefensible. The way to protect Israeli security is through a political compact with neighbours, and the integrity of Lebanon must be part of that compact. The military occupation of southern Lebanon by force cannot guarantee lasting peace and security. In the end, as leaders such as the late Israeli leader Rabin and the Palestinian leader Arafat realized, only genuine peace can promote and eventually safeguard security, stability and development in the region.

Malaysia fully supports the following five requests, made earlier to this Council by the Permanent Representative of Lebanon.

First, Israel must stop immediately its aggression against Lebanon and withdraw all its reinforcements.

Secondly, the Israeli aggression against Lebanon must be condemned.

Thirdly, Israel must immediately comply with and fully implement Security Council resolution 425 (1978).

Fourthly, assistance must be provided for Lebanon and its people to overcome the suffering and casualties resulting from the Israeli aggression.

Fifthly, the Council must remain seized of this issue.

In conclusion, I wish to underline the need for a comprehensive, durable and peaceful solution to the Middle East situation, one that is just and fair and built on the relevant resolutions of the United Nations.

The President (interpretation from Spanish): The next speaker is the representative of Jordan. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.

Mr. Bataineh (Jordan) (interpretation from Arabic): Allow me to express my appreciation to you, Mr. President, and to the other members of the Council for urgently convening this meeting, the second held today to deal with questions relating to the Middle East. We express that appreciation in the context of the worsening situation in relations between Israel and our sister country Lebanon. This sudden deterioration has resulted from the continued and intensified acts of Israeli aggression and violence. Israeli aerial and artillery bombardment has resulted in the loss of civilian lives, the destruction of property and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people from their towns and villages. As we learned from the representative of Lebanon, the number of displaced persons has reached almost 800,000. Those actions constitute a violation of Lebanon's sovereignty and national dignity. They are creating an indescribable human tragedy which cannot be allowed to pass.

Regrettably, this military escalation is taking place at a time when Lebanon, which has been subjected to various kinds of violence over the past two decades, had started to experience a degree of calm and to rebuild what had been destroyed by war and violence. It had begun to rebuild its institutions and civilian facilities, and stability and security were beginning to return.

Jordan is greatly concerned at this escalation, which is taking place at a time when all the peoples and States of the region are looking forward to the initiation of a new stage of coexistence, security, peace, cooperation and understanding, when problems will no longer be dealt with through force and violence. The resort to violence runs counter to the principles of the Charter and resolutions of the United Nations. It runs counter to the most elementary rules of civilized international political conduct. It runs counter to the basis of the peace process laid down in the Madrid Conference.

We oppose and condemn all use of military force and violence in dealing with any political dispute, especially when such force is used against innocent civilians and civilian installations. It is evident that the use of force results in economic destruction and the continued exacerbation of social tragedy. Such an approach will have a negative impact on the entire peace process and on the peace and stability of the region.

The Security Council must have decided to meet urgently because it realized how grave the situation had become. We believe that words such as deplores and condemns will not suffice. The situation is much graver than that. The tragic situation has resulted from the continuing Israeli military actions against Lebanon. The Council must use the means available to it under the Charter to deal with the crisis, bring the hostilities to an end, and stop the situation from deteriorating. The loss of life and the destruction of property must be stopped, wherever they take place.

It is incumbent on the Council to make the necessary guarantees to stop the cycle of action and reaction, and to resolve the situation definitively. My delegation adds its voice forcefully to all the appeals heard during the debate calling for precisely that. We believe that this is the optimum way, the right path. It is necessary to go back to the negotiating table and continue peace talks on the basis of decisions made at Madrid and of resolutions of the Council, especially resolution 425 (1978), which calls for a full Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon. The implementation of that resolution would establish the necessary security atmosphere along the Lebanese- Israeli border. Ending the occupation and negotiating peace is the only way to limit and stop the violence. Using violence to react to violence, prompting further violence and widening the circle of tragedy, will lead to nothing but desperation and bitterness. It will return the whole region to an atmosphere of conflict, the consequences of which are unpredictable, and from which we thought we had emerged for good.

Jordan shares the suffering of the Government and people of our sister country Lebanon, and affirms that we stand by their side. We call upon the Council to make every effort and use all available means to resolve the situation and help Lebanon shoulder its responsibility to deal with the consequences of successive tragedies and in rebuilding its country and institutions. We call upon the Council to support and protect the sovereignty, territorial integrity and dignity of Lebanon. The progress towards peace in our region, which we have all worked and strived for, and which we consider to constitute the guarantee of stability and growth, will not be achieved except through dialogue and a bold, correct analysis of all the manifestations of violence and tension. We must move away from emotions, reprisals, collective punishment and the unbridled use of force. History has taught us that these methods are sterile and only deepen the wounds and widen the gap between the peoples of the region. They will lead only to the opposite result.

The President (interpretation from Spanish): I thank the representative of Jordan for the kind words he addressed to me.

The next speaker is the representative of Turkey. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.

Mr. Tanç (Turkey): As we stated earlier today, terrorism poses the greatest threat to security and stability in the Middle East. Terrorists are trying to undermine the hopes for peace and the prospects for prosperity. To continue to work resolutely for peace requires common understanding and cooperation among the countries of the region. Combatting terrorism calls for common action.

It has been the consistent position of my Government that the fight against terrorism is vitally important for the success of the peace process. However, we also believe that it should not inflict any harm on innocent civilians, who are the real targets and victims of terrorist acts. If peace is to triumph, the support of the people of the region must continue. We are concerned that the recent developments might lead to the loss of this support, and that this, in turn, might cause a loss of momentum in the quest for peace.

After the attacks by the Israeli armed forces against the positions of the terrorist organization, Hezbollah, in Lebanon, the Israeli Ambassador to Turkey was summoned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Our position regarding the fight against terrorism and our concerns for the safety of innocent civilians have once again been brought to the attention of Israel.

As a neighbouring country, Turkey will continue to follow developments closely, and it calls for the implementation of relevant Security Council resolutions.

The President (interpretation from Spanish): The next speaker is the representative of Colombia. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.

Mr. García (Colombia) (interpretation from Spanish): That we should be discussing the situation in the Middle East for the second time in one day is indicative of the clear difficulties being experienced by the peace process in that region.

We have been witnessing with concern the deterioration of the situation in Lebanon as a result of the attacks carried out by Israeli forces.

For some time, in keeping with the position adopted by the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, my country has stated that the prerequisite for peace and security in the region is strict respect for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence of Lebanon within its internationally recognized borders. The Heads of State or Government made statements to that effect at the Non-Aligned summit in Cartagena, condemning the Israeli occupation of the southern part of the territory of Lebanon and the Bekaa Valley, while also expressing their support for efforts aimed at, inter alia, liberating those territories.

We have listened with great attention to the statement of the Permanent Representative of Lebanon. The attacks against Lebanon are not only a violation of the norms of international law, taking an irreparable toll in human life and material damage and causing an exodus of innocent civilians; they also, in general, gravely
endanger the progress of the peace process in the Middle East.

My delegation therefore reiterates that only the prompt and unconditional implementation of Security Council resolution 425 (1978) will create an environment favourable to peace and international security in the region. We call for the attacks to cease and for a climate favourable to a peaceful, negotiated outcome to the crisis to be created.

The President (interpretation from Spanish): The next speaker is the representative of Pakistan. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.

Mr. Kamal (Pakistan): We are once again assembled, for the second time today, to consider another extremely grave situation in the Middle East. My delegation, like all others, is deeply concerned over the recent escalation of hostilities along the Israel-Lebanon border and inside Lebanon, which has resulted in deaths and injuries to innocent civilians. We find this extension of the conflict reprehensible and deplorable and call for all such acts to cease. The escalation of hostilities is neither justifiable nor in keeping with the objective of attaining a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East. As already conveyed in detail by the Permanent Representative of Lebanon, these aggressive actions committed by the Israeli authorities are only exacerbating tensions and resulting in the deaths of even more innocent civilians. Pakistan deplores such objectives and condemns the targeting and killing of civilian populations.

Pakistan has consistently affirmed that, in order to achieve a durable and comprehensive peace in the Middle East, it is vital that successful progress be simultaneously achieved in resolving the Israeli-Syrian and the Israeli-Lebanese conflicts. We share the view that unless these fundamental issues are also adequately addressed, peace will continue to elude the region. Throughout the Middle East conflict, Pakistan has consistently endorsed the point of view that Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 425 (1978) continue to provide a viable and just framework for the resolution of the problems of the Middle East and Palestine. We firmly believe that during the transitional period, Israel, as the occupying Power, remains duty-bound, under the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, to respect fully and implement the provisions of the Convention and relevant Security Council resolutions in the occupied Arab territories. Resolution 425 (1978), particularly, called for the unconditional withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanon and remains unimplemented almost 20 years down the line.

The Government and the people of Pakistan are deeply concerned over this latest escalation of hostilities in Lebanon, which is seriously undermining the peace process. It is our understanding that these military actions are continuing, even as we speak here. We would therefore urge the Security Council to remain actively seized of this matter until a satisfactory resolution is found to the crisis.

The President (interpretation from Spanish): There are no further speakers.

I do not wish to end this debate without drawing a brief conclusion from it this evening.

The conclusion I think I can reach as President of the Council following this debate is that all who have spoken want the fighting, violence and bloodshed to cease once and for all and believe that the humanitarian needs of the civilian population must be met and that the peace process must continue to be supported.

The Council will remain seized of the matter.
The meeting rose at 9.50 p.m.

Follow UNISPAL RSS Twitter