Letter dated 26 November 2000 from the Permanent Representative of Israel
to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council
I wish to draw your attention to a grave act of aggression, which was perpetrated today against Israel from the territory of Lebanon. On the morning of Sunday, 26 November 2000, a powerful roadside charge was detonated against an Israeli patrol by terrorists who had infiltrated from Lebanon, killing an Israeli soldier and wounding two others. The attack took place in the region of Mount Dov, almost a kilometre within the Israeli side of the “Blue Line”.
This latest attack represents a continuation of the recent drastic and dangerous deterioration along the Lebanon-Israel border. These incidents included, inter alia, the following:
On 7 October 2000, three Israeli soldiers were abducted from within Israel by terrorists who infiltrated from Lebanon;
On 20 October 2000, a heavily armed cell was interdicted as it attempted to infiltrate Israel in order to carry out terrorist attacks;
On 16 November 2000, a high-explosive device was detonated by terrorists originating from Lebanon against a vehicle convoy within Israel.
Israel views these acts of aggression with the utmost gravity and as a gross violation of the Charter of the United Nations, fundamental principles of international law and Security Council resolution 425 (1978) of 19 March 1978, pursuant to which Israel withdrew its forces from Lebanese territory, as confirmed by the Secretary-General (S/2000/590) and subsequently endorsed by the Security Council (S/PRST/2000/21) and referred to in Security Council resolution 1310 (2000).
It should further be recalled that, in confirming Israel’s compliance with Security Council resolution 425 (1978), the Secretary-General specifically determined that the area known as “Shaaba” is not Lebanese territory. Consequently, subsequent Lebanese claims against Israel regarding that area, justifying aggressive activity by terrorists emanating from Lebanese territory, is in direct contravention of the aforementioned determination of the Secretary-General.
In the light of this most recent hostile attack against Israel from Lebanese territory and the growing escalation on that border, I wish to recall our letters addressed to you dated 7 October 2000 (S/2000/969) and 19 October 2000 (S/2000/1002), as well as our letters dated 6 July (A/54/936-S/2000/661), 13 July (A/54/939-S/2000/689), 4 August (A/54/957-S/2000/769), 15 August (S/2000/805) and 23 October 2000 (S/2000/1011) addressed to the Secretary-General. Those letters called attention to the continuing Lebanese violations along the line of withdrawal, and to the continued threat which they pose to international peace and security in the region.
Since its withdrawal from Lebanese territory, Israel has repeatedly called upon the Government of Lebanon to fulfil its obligations under international law, and as required in resolution 425 (1978), to restore, with the assistance of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), its effective control over South Lebanon and ensure that international peace and security are maintained on its side of the border. Despite these pleas, the Government of Lebanon has failed for months to restrain, and has even encouraged, provocative and violent cross-border attacks against Israel. Continued diplomatic attempts, on the part of Israel, to warn that the situation on the northern border could deteriorate have gone unheeded.
In Security Council resolution 1310 (2000), the Council called for the deployment of the United Nations Interim force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in the area and for the Government of Lebanon to “ensure the return of its effective authority and presence in the south, and in particular to proceed with a significant deployment of the Lebanese armed forces as soon as possible”, and to “ensure a calm environment throughout the south” (paras. 6 and 7). Clearly, this must include taking full control over the area in proximity to the fence with Israel and preventing the acts of disorder and violence directed towards Israeli territory.
A continuation of the present situation, with these ongoing acts of aggression by Lebanese terrorists, carries with it a danger of imminent escalation. Consequently, the international community in general, and the Security Council in particular, must demand of Lebanon that it fulfil its responsibilities under resolutions 425 (1978) and 1310 (2000), which entail putting an end to these acts of aggression from Lebanese territory, establishing effective Lebanese authority in the area and acting to bring peace and security to our common border.
I wish to request that the present letter be circulated as a document of the Security Council.