The Lebanese representative was one of 32 speakers to address the Council on the Israeli attacks in Lebanon, which began last Thursday, 11 April. He requested the Council to order Israel to immediately cease its aggression and, in cooperation with the Secretary-General, provide a massive programme of assistance to Lebanon.
The representative of Israel, said that after a long period of restraint and the exhaustion of all political and diplomatic means, the Israeli Defense Forces were hitting back at Hezbollah strongholds. If Lebanon did not have the ability or the will to control Hezbollah activities, Israel must defend its security by all necessary measures. He said Israel had no territorial claim on Lebanon. Israel was sorry that civilians on both sides of the border were suffering as a result of the current confrontation, but the escalation had been initiated by the murderous acts of the Hezbollah.
The representative of Syria said Lebanon had cooperated with the Middle East peace process, but its efforts had met Israeli intransigence and a refusal to implement Security Council resolution 425 (1978). Faced with those developments, the Security Council was duty-bound not to stand with its arms crossed. That would jeopardize its fundamental duty to maintain international peace and security. Israeli security had been the pretext for every Israeli war of aggression. Genuine security could only be achieved by withdrawal from all occupied territories. The Council should intervene to put an end to Israeli aggression.
The representative of the United States said that those who allowed the Hezbollah militia to act with impunity should bear responsibility for their actions. The United States was engaged in an intense diplomatic effort to restore calm and establish stability.
Statements were also made by the representatives of France, Indonesia, Germany, China, Russian Federation, Republic of Korea, Botswana, Italy (on behalf of the European Union), United Kingdom, Poland, Egypt, Guinea-Bissau and Chile.
Also making statements were the representatives of the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Cuba, Kuwait, Libya, Algeria, Afghanistan, Morocco, Iran, Tunisia, Malaysia, Jordan, Turkey, Colombia and Pakistan.
The Council convened at 6:17 p.m. and adjourned at 9:49 p.m.
Security Council Work Programme
The Security Council meets this evening to consider the situation in the Middle East.
Before the Council is a letter from the Permanent Representative of Lebanon addressed to the President of the Council (S/1996/280), dated 13 April. The letter requests an urgent meeting of the Council to consider "the grave situation in Lebanon resulting from the large-scale Israeli bombardment of many towns....including the southern suburbs of Beirut, causing alarming numbers of civilian dead and wounded, thousands of displaced persons and severe damage to property".
The letter states: "These acts of aggression are continuing unabated for the third consecutive day. They constitute further flagrant violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Lebanon and the Charter of the United Nations and pose a great threat to international peace and security".
SAMIR MOUBARAK (Lebanon) pleaded with members of the Council to take action to stop the Israeli military aggression against his country, its people, its territorial integrity, its independence and its sovereignty. The aggression was 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. He said Lebanon, for five days now, continued to be subjected to Israeli aggression by land, sea and air. Israel was killing and injuring Lebanese civilians, and there was an exceedingly large number of displaced persons from south Lebanon and the surrounding areas. The situation could not be tolerated, and the members of the Council must take "swift action to stop this Israeli madness."
He said that contrary to the pretensions of Israeli officials and those backing them, the current escalation was a result of persistent Israeli attacks and bombardments killing men, women and children. It was a violation of the so-called July 1993 understanding and had consequently attracted reaction from the Lebanese resistance. The records of the Security Council were fully documented by his constant correspondence, reporting to the Council a long chain of misery inflicted by Israel against Lebanon.
The new cycle of violence should not be viewed apart from the overall situation in the south and west Bekaa. It was not a question of who launched first this or that rocket. "This is the result of the occupatio by Israel in flagrant violation of Security Council resolution 425." Furthermore, the violence had been triggered on purpose by the Israelis to serve the electoral ambitions of the Israeli Government. "This is completely insane", he added.
Israel was still engaged in its deadly assault against Lebanon, with the number of casualties increasing constantly and the destruction in property devastating. Giving details of the aggression, he said that on Wednesday, 10 April, the southern Lebanese cost was subjected to an intense sea blockade. Israeli artillery heavily shelled most of the villages in the south and the western Bekaa, and its airforce violated Lebanese airspace by conducting extensive military bombardments over most of Lebanon's regions. On Thursday 11 April, Israel had raided the civilian sections of the southern part of Beirut, targeting the Al-Sahel hospital and a Syrian army barrack near Beirut airport. It had carried out other raids on many villages in the south. The sea blockade had been firmly maintained and artillery shelling on many villages in the south and the western Bekaa continued unabated. On Friday 12 April, Israeli artillery had shelled many villages in the south and the western Bekaa. The sea blockade was still in effect and the Israelis had warned Lebanese to evacuate their homes in 40 southern villages and towns, causing a massive migration towards Saida, Tyre and Beirut. The casualties that day were six civilians dead, 22 injured and 50,000 displaced from the south.
On Saturday 13 April, he continued, massive Israeli bombardments had continued at the rate of 40 mortar shells per minute falling on many villages in the south and western Bekaa. Israeli shelling hit a Lebanese ambulance in Al-Mansouri in the area of Tyre killing 4 children and a house in the Town of Souhmor in the western Bekaa, killing a whole family of five. More Israeli warnings had been issued to vacate the area of Nabatiye and the western Bekaa. The casualties that day were 12 civilians dead, 30 injured and the number of displaced from the south reached 200,000 Lebanese citizens.
On Saturday 14 April, he said Israel had continued to bombard all Lebanese regions by air, land and sea. Israeli warplanes had shelled the southern part of Beirut, including the electricity power station in Jamhour east of Beirut. Israel also raided the Palestinian refugee camp of Al Baddawi in northern Lebanon and its forces prevented the circulation of traffic on the Beirut-Sidon line in direction to the south. The casualties that day were five dead, 30 injured and the number of displaced reaching more than 600,000 people. Today, 15 April, Israeli reinforcements entered Lebanon. Four hundred raids had taken place and the number of displaced persons had reached 800. A systematic bombardment of Tyre and its internationally protected archaeological sites was taking place at a rate of 100 shells per minute. Israeli threat and intimidations were intensifying. The sea blockade was strongly maintained.
He said that it had been a pattern that any resistance to Israeli aggression was immediately labelled as acts of terrorism. While Lebanon stressed its firm condemnation of all forms of terrorism, it firmly supported the legitimate rights of peoples to resist foreign occupation. "What we have in south Lebanon is foreign occupation and the Lebanese are within their legitimate right to defend themselves against occupation, human rights abuses and displacement." That principle had been time and again reaffirmed in the solemn declaration of heads of State and government at the commemorative session of the fiftieth anniversary of the Organization. What was happening in Lebanon today was resistance against foreign occupation. Israeli occupation of Lebanon was terrorism. Israel had since 1978 refused to comply with resolution 425 which called for "strict respect for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence of Lebanon within its internationally recognized boundaries", and called upon Israel "immediately to cease its military action against Lebanese territorial integrity and withdraw forthwith its forces from all Lebanese territory".
Instead of complying with resolution 425 (1978), he said Israel had carved the so-called security zone in south Lebanon and the western Bekaa perpetrating its occupation of Lebanon. If Israel thought that violence was the solution it should know that violence would serve nothing. "It will only add misery, suffering and destruction. The whole history of Israel is full of this distorted logic since 1948."
He said, if Israel continued to think that the perpetuation of the so-called security zone was another solution, Israel should know that the so-called security zone was a complete failure, and had not achieved security for Israel. Israel could see clearly the deplorable results of its military actions on the peace process since 1991. It was a futile hope if the purpose of the exercise was to force Lebanon to accept submission. Lebanon would have no peace with Israel as long as it did not withdraw from south Lebanon in implementation of resolution 425 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 for Israel to forget 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," he said. It was obvious to all that Lebanon's resistance was a sacred right. It was up to Israel to withdraw and end occupation which was the cause of resistance.
What the Israeli authorities had achieved in its new large-scale aggression against his country was new statistics of death and misery to add to their well-known records of killings, he said. Since the peace process started in 1991 in Madrid, Israel had been launching raids of death and destruction against Lebanon simply because it refused to abide by international law and implement Security Council resolutions. He appealed to the Council to act swiftly in putting an end to Israeli terror, to condemn the aggression and to force Israel to withdraw to the internationally recognized boundaries of Lebanon in accordance with resolution 425 (1978). He said the Israeli aggression in Lebanon was damaging the peace process, and Israel bore responsibility for the crimes committed in his country. Israel had to implement fully resolution 425 (1978). Furthermore, he asked for the release of all detainees from Israeli jails and from detention camps under Israeli control in south Lebanon.
What was happening in Lebanon today was the result of a joint venture of Israeli terrorism and Israeli elections. International law had to be implemented. Israel's logic of terror was distorted. Its military might was its weakness, its stubbornness was blindness and its pretensions pure imagination and dream. The peoples of the region would never accept Israeli expansionism.
His delegation requested the Council to order Israel to stop immediately its aggression against Lebanon and to withdraw all its reinforcements; to condemn the Israeli aggression against Lebanon -- its civilians, economy, infrastructure and archaeological sites in particular those protected internationally; and to force Israel to implement Security Council resolution 425 (1978). It also asked the Council to provide, in cooperation with the Secretary-General, a massive programme of assistance to Lebanon and its people to overcome the suffering and casualties as a result of the Israeli aggression.
GAD YAACOBI (Israel) said that since 1 February, 8 Israelis had been killed and 29 wounded by Hezbollah terrorists. Last week, 36 more Israeli civilians had been injured in waves of Katyusha rocket attacks fired into northern Israel. Israel's primary obligation was to protect the security of all its citizens. After a long period of restraint and the exhaustion of all political and diplomatic means, the Israeli Defence Forces were hitting back at Hezbollah strongholds. If Lebanon did not have the ability or the will to control the activities of Hezbollah, Israel must defend its security by all necessary measures. The Lebanese Government had disarmed all militias in that country, with the exception of Hezbollah. Israel also urged the Government of Syria to use its influence to stop terrorism. Israel had no territorial claim on Lebanon.
There were two trends in the Middle East today, he said. One sought a peaceful resolution of the conflict. Another, inspired and supported by Iran, was trying to kill the prospects for peace. While peacemakers met and signed treaties, Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad and their "Iranian master" sought to return matters to the old Middle East, where violence and bloodshed were the order of the day. The stated goal of Hezbollah was the destruction of Israel. Hezbollah annually received $70 million in financial aid from Iran.
Its terrorists were trained in Iranian military installations and Iranian Revolutionary Guards were operating in Lebanon.
Quoting from remarks by Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres to a Cabinet meeting, he said that Hezbollah had broken all understandings in the wake of "Operation Accountability" in 1993. Israel would not let Hezbollah conceal itself among the civilian population. Hezbollah terrorists and facilities in Lebanon, including those in Beirut, would not enjoy immunity. If civilian facilities in Israel were hit, there would be no immunity from strikes on corresponding targets in Lebanon. But if Hezbollah attacks permanently ceased, Israel would cease also.
The Government of Israel would not accept the freedom that the Lebanese Government granted to terrorist groups to operate from its territory, he said. Israel was sorry that civilians on both sides of the border were suffering as a result of the current confrontation, but the escalation had been initiated by the murderous acts of the Hezbollah.
ALAIN DEJAMMET (France) said that the Council could not remain silent in the face of events which threatened the peace process and the integrity of Lebanon. France reaffirmed the right of all States in the region to live in security. It understood Israel's desire to protect its people from violence. But France regretted that the military actions of the last few days had killed dozens of civilians and forced hundreds of thousands to flee their homes. Only the implementation of Council resolution 425 (1978) could guarantee the security of States in the region.
The chain reaction of violence and reprisals, which struck civilians in both Israel and Lebanon, must cease, he continued. The parties should demonstrate responsibility and restraint by halting action as soon as possible. The French Minister for Foreign Affairs was travelling to the region in that regard. The Security Council must reaffirm its confidence in the future of Lebanon, as well as its resolve that the security of all States in the region should be guaranteed by peaceful means.
MAKARIM WIBISONO (Indonesia) said that recent attacks on Lebanon by Israel were a clear violation of the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence. The attacks by Israel had demonstrated that country's contempt, violating the mot basic principles governing relations between States, as enshrined in the Charter and in international law. Indonesia condemned the Israeli military action which had inflicted casualties among the civilian population and caused destruction of the infrastructure and archaeological sites under the protection of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
The massive dislocation of the civilian population threatened the stability of Lebanon and the whole Middle East region, he continued. In recent years the international community had seen significant progress, particularly as regards Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. Similar progress on the Israeli-Syrian and Israeli-Lebanese tracks was also needed, consistent with Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 425 (1978). The recent Israeli military action against Lebanon was in total contradiction to the aim of the peace process. Israel should cease its aggression against Lebanon and withdraw all reinforcements as they constituted a clear violation of the United Nations Charter, international law and resolutions of the Security Council.
TONO EITEL (Germany) expressed sympathy for Israel as it tried to protect its civilian population. It had demonstrated a continuing commitment to the peace-process despite constant terrorist attacks. But Lebanon, like Israel, was entitled to its territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence within its internationally recognized borders, as spelled out in Security Council resolution 425 (1978).
Self-defence was clearly legitimate, though it could become illegal if it did not abide by the basic laws of proportionality, he said. That legal rule had been recognized at least since the Second World War. Quoting from the third book of Moses, he said, "breach for breach, eye for eye, tooth for tooth". Self-defensive measure must not be directed against civilians, in accordance with article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, to which both Israel and Lebanon were parties. The Government of Lebanon was responsible for doing all it could to prevent its territory from being used for attacks against persons protected by the Geneva Conventions, he said.
QIN HUASUN (China) called on Israel to immediately cease all military action, so as to safeguard peace and stability in the region. The sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Lebanon should be fully respected. Security Council resolutions, including resolution 425 (1978) should be implemented. The events in Lebanon had set back the Middle East peace process. The realization of peace in the Middle East was an aspiration of all peoples. All sides would be wise to cherish it.
He called on all sides to exercise restraint and to refrain from any action that would be harmful to the peace process. The international community must nurse along the peace process. That was the only way that a comprehensive peace could be achieved at an early date. A political solution to the Middle East situation should be achieved in accordance with relevant resolutions of the Council. He hoped any international action would be conducive to the realization of that goal.
SERGEY V. LAVROV (Russian Federation) said that the barrage of bombardments in Lebanon, including in Beirut and in the Bekaa Valley, had wrought destruction and caused refugees to flee. Attacks were being carried out as revenge for attacks by the Hezbollah. Russia rejected both those reprisals and the actions of certain terrorist groups. But, he asked, to what extent were Israeli actions proportionate? In their range, the actions of Israel were an inappropriate response.
The recent actions may negatively affect the Middle East peace process as a whole, he said. Military operations by Israel in Lebanon should stop, along with armed attacks against Israel from Lebanese territory. The parties should exercise restraint. The humanitarian consequences of violence was a matter of great concern. The Council had been told that civilians in southern Lebanon had not been able to flee due to the intensity of the fighting. The wave of persons fleeing the conflict might result in an emerging humanitarian emergency. All the parties should show moderation. Breaking the circle of violence could only be achieved within a political framework. As a co-sponsor of the Middle East peace process, the Russian Federation called on a resolution of the situation consistent with Security Council resolution 425 (1978).
PARK SOO GIL (Republic of Korea) said the graphic scene of the destruction of the white ambulance, which killed two women and four children the other day in southern Lebanon, was a shuddering reminder of a tragedy which should be brought to an end at once. The current situation in Lebanon and along the Israel-Lebanon border deserved serious consideration by all the members of the Council, particularly given its possible impact upon the overall Middle East peace process.
The fact that the Council was meeting twice in a single day on the Middle East was a distressful reflection of the grave situation which existed at multiple levels in that region. It was, however, all the more reason for members of the Council to deliberate cautiously and patiently on the issue, as peace in the Middle East could not be complete without reconciliation between Israel and Lebanon, as well as between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), and Israel and Syria. The Middle East peace process could be rounded out only by making progress on each track, in keeping with the approach envisioned at the Madrid Peace Conference.
His delegation noted with dismay infringement of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Lebanon, in violation of Council resolution 425 (1978) and the United Nations Charter. It reaffirmed its support for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Lebanon within its internationally recognized boundaries, as reiterated by the Council on various occasions. It was his country's view that only through "open-minded and serious dialogue" could the parties concerned overcome impediments to peace and security in the Middle East. It called for restraint by the parties directly concerned.
MOTHUSI NKGOWE (Botswana) said his country was appalled by the indiscriminate killings of innocent Lebanese civilians, the destruction of their villages and towns and the bombardment of the power plants, all of which had not been proved to have anything to do with Hezbollah. The current destruction and mayhem caused by the Israeli military forces had resulted in the displacement of over 400,000 people, thus creating a serious humanitarian catastrophe. The situation did not augur well for peace in the area. The horrid activities of Hezbollah could not and should not be used as a pretext for the annihilation of the people of Lebanon for whatever reason. Not every Lebanese was a member or supporter of Hezbollah.
Botswana was acutely aware that Israel could not be expected to watch in an impassive manner when Hezbollah continued to rain bombs into its territory, causing turmoil and unmitigated tragedy. It was equally true that Hezbollah would continue to carry out attacks against Israel in an effort to dislodge the latter from southern Lebanon which it occupied in violation of Security Council resolution 425 (1978). The attacks and indiscriminate reprisals should not be allowed to continue indefinitely. The only sensible and realistic solution to the Middle East problems was to engage in purposeful negotiations aimed at the attainment of a just and lasting peace. Botswana strongly supported the commendable efforts of the United States Government in encouraging the parties to the Middle East conflict to negotiate a comprehensive political settlement. The bombardment of Lebanon was a major setback to those peace efforts. Everything should be done to ensure that the initiatives were not frustrated.
GIULIO TERZI (Italy), speaking on behalf of the European Union, expressed its grave concern at the escalation in military activity in Israel and Lebanon which had resulted in the loss of many innocent lives and caused hundreds of thousands of civilians to flee their homes. That was creating a major humanitarian crisis. The European Union also expressed its concern about the security of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and called on all sides to ensure that their safety was not put at risk.
While reaffirming its commitment to the implementation of Council resolution 425 (1978), the European Union called on all parties to show the greatest moderation and to cease military activities, in the conviction that violence assisted only the enemies of peace. It also called on all parties to the peace process, each using the influence at its disposal, to contribute to reducing tension to create a more relaxed climate, in the interests of all the people in the region.
MADELEINE ALBRIGHT (United States) said that the Hezbollah attacks into northern Israel had once again compelled the Israeli Government to take steps it deemed necessary to protect its people from direct threats emanating from Lebanese territory. The tragic situation had resulted in losses of life and property, suffering and dislocations of innocent people on both sides of the border. The United States extended its condolences and sympathy to those innocent civilians. It deeply regretted the loss of any civilian life. The people of northern Israel and southern Lebanon had, for too long, been the victims of terrorists who took sanctuary in South Lebanon.
Those terrorists continued to wreak havoc, she continued. Hezbollah leaders were repeating their threats to attack Israeli and American targets across the globe. Despite the extraordinary transformations that had occurred in the Middle East, the leaders of Hezbollah had not changed. Still, they clung to their policies of violence and their philosophy of hate. They lacked the courage to contemplate peace, because peace would make them irrelevant. They continued their war on the future, and people throughout the region were harmed. Hezbollah's violence damaged not only Israel and the prospects for a Middle East peace; it undermined the safety of people in Lebanon and the legitimacy of the Lebanese State. Those who allowed Hezbollah's militia to act with impunity in Lebanon should bear responsibility for the consequences, which included not only abuses to the State of Lebanon from within, but actions of self-defence by Israel in response to Hezbollah violence.
Hezbollah would not and should not succeed in its destabilizing aims, she said. The United States was 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. That would enable a return to the paramount task of assisting the parties in settling their conflict by direct negotiations. The United States was committed to using its influence to help ensure the right of nations to live within secure and internationally recognized borders. It also remained committed to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Lebanon.
Extremists and terrorists would persist in efforts to slow or derail the process towards peace in the Middle East, she said. Those efforts should be defeated and the parties encouraged 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, was the only path by which true security for people throughout the region might be obtained.
STEPHEN GOMERSALL (United Kingdom) said that his Government had condemned the continuing attacks by Hezbollah on northern Israel, which had led to civilian casualties. It had also placed on record its concern at the loss of life being witnessed among civilians in Lebanon, as well as at the severe humanitarian problem created by the departure of large numbers of people from southern Lebanon.
He said all parties should move to restore peace and stability, and to cease attacks on civilians. The 1993 arrangement should be respected. The only possible long-term solution to the situation now unfolding was the resumption of the peace process in accordance with relevant Security Council resolutions, including resolution 425 (1978).
ZBIGNIEW M. WLOSOWICZ (Poland) said his country did not accept military means as a solution to the problems of the Middle East. It deplored rocket attacks launched at northern Israel as well as the air bombardments in Lebanon. Such unacceptable actions victimized the civilian population and jeopardized the Middle East peace process. Poland reiterated its attachment to the right of nations to secure and peaceful existence.
His Government was strongly against any form of violence, he said, adding that violence should not determine the fate of peoples who inhabited the Middle East. He called upon all parties involved to exercise self-restraint and to refrain and to refrain from actions that might result in further escalation of tensions in the region. He appealed to them to undertake all the necessary measures to ensure peace and regional stability. He underscored the need for their cooperation in the implementation of Security Council resolution 425 (1978).
NABIL ELARABY (Egypt) said the fact that the Security Council was meeting twice in one day to consider Israeli action against Arab peoples was a cause for concern. Any observer of the situation in the Middle East must realize the grave danger to the peace process caused by Israeli attacks. In Lebanon, dozens of civilians had died. The Israeli Government had claimed that the aggression was a limited action of self-defence, but Israel had long made that claim in response to individual attacks.
He said Israel continued to occupy territories in southern Lebanon, but that occupation had not guaranteed security to Israeli citizens. On the contrary, it had resulted in the growth of extremism and violence as a means of ending the Israeli occupation. There was no justification for five days of intense Israeli aggression which had displaced hundreds of thousands of persons. Those raids were an all-out war of aggression against Lebanon.
Self-defence must only be employed in response to a direct military attack, he said. Clearly, rocket attacks against Israel must cease forthwith. But the mechanisms of the Lebanon-Israel armistice should have been invoked. Also, Israel could have brought that matter to the attention of the Security Council. Self-defence was not a blank check to wage aggression. Proportionality was essential.
ADELINO MANO QUETA (Guinea-Bissau) said that the Middle East peace process could be threatened by the recent Israeli attacks on southern Lebanon. The new cycle of violence could only engender new hatred in the region. The peace accords should be relaunched in the region. The parties should immediately agree to a cease-fire and allow the process to move forward.
JUAN SOMAVIA (Chile) said that the Hezbollah attacks against northern Israel and the attacks by Israel against Lebanon only served to bring back the nightmares of the past. For the first time in 14 years, Israeli helicopters were attacking Beirut. Thousands were fleeing their homes. Chile was concerned for the 400,000 refugees. The attacks of Hezbollah against Israel had also caused Israelis to flee their border regions. Nothing could be achieved through terror, but a great deal could be lost if those actions continued: namely, the Middle East peace process. Nothing could justify terrorism, which only caused hatred and the desire for revenge. Israel should respect the principle of proportionality and withdraw its forces from Lebanon.
MOHAMMAD J. SAMHAN (United Arab Emirates) said the Israeli aggression had left half a million civilians fleeing their homes and the destruction of civilian property. The Arab States condemned it and supported Lebanon. They recognized the right of Lebanon to defend itself. He said that all necessary steps should be extended to Lebanon to enable it to deal with the aggression.
He said Israeli attacks were not only a flagrant violation of Lebanon's territorial integrity, but also a threat to international peace and security. They were also gross violations of the principle of international law. The attack on the ambulance was such an example. Arbitrary bombardments were violations of international humanitarian law and the Fourth Geneva Convention.
He said Israel should be deterred from its aggression and measures towards that end adopted. Israeli troops should completely withdraw from all Lebanese territory in accordance with resolution 425 (1978). He called for emergency international assistance to Lebanon.
GAAFAR M. ALLAGANY (Saudi Arabia) said that for five days Israel had carried out a military campaign against the civilian population of Lebanon. The campaign had begun in the south, but now had caused hundreds of wounded throughout the country. It was an unjustifiable act, in contravention of international law and of Security Council resolution 425 (1978). Israel had warned the population of 40 Lebanese villages to flee or face destruction. It was unreasonable and unacceptable to continue action against Lebanon. Israel seemed to be saying that the women and children of Lebanon were responsible for actions that had been taken in response to Israeli occupation. It was not logical to hold the Government of Lebanon responsible for action in the south of that country while its army was forbidden from entering the area.
The peace process that began in Madrid four years ago had been predicated upon the principle of land for peace, he continued. As long as Israel was occupying one-eighth of Lebanon and carrying out aerial bombardment, real peace in the Middle East would not be achievable. The international community should adopt a unified stance against the senseless Israeli aggression against Lebanon.
AHMAD HALLAK (Syria) said that the extensive Israeli aggression against Lebanon was a grave escalation of tensions in the Middle East region. That aggression had targeted many civilian population centres, including Beirut, causing the death of dozens, the wounding of hundreds, and forcible removal of a half a million persons. The world would not soon forget the sight of Lebanese children killed by Israeli aircraft while they were riding in an ambulance.
Lebanon had cooperated with the Middle East peace process, but their efforts had met Israeli intransigence and a refusal to implement Council resolution 425 (1978). Faced with those developments, the Security Council was duty-bound not to stand with its arms crossed. That would jeopardize its fundamental duty to maintain international peace and security. Israeli security had been the pretext for every Israeli war of aggression. Genuine security could only be achieved by withdrawal from all occupied territories.
Israel seemed to be backing away from the peace process, he said. The Security Council -- particularly its permanent members -- should do their duty to prevent further deterioration of the situation in the Middle East. The continuing Israeli aggression would not have taken place if the Council had taken measures to implement its resolution 425 (1978). The Council should intervene to put an end to Israeli aggression.
BRUNO RODRIGUEZ PARRILLA (Cuba) said that Israeli attacks on Lebanon were in violation of the Charter and of international law. Life in southern Lebanon was becoming precarious. More than 50 towns had been evacuated, and the city of Tyre was being threatened. Even Palestinian camps in northern Lebanon were being bombed. He wondered if Israel's attacks on civilian centres were not also aimed at the Lebanese effort to rebuild its economy. The attacks heightened the danger of uncontrolled escalation, endangering the Middle East peace process. Only the withdrawal of Israel from occupied territories could bring peace to the region. The Security Council should unequivocally condemn the Israeli aggression against Lebanon. Failure to do so would create a precedent that attacks could be undertaken with impunity, depending on who one's friends were.
MOHAMMAD A. ABULHASAN (Kuwait) said Israel should be able to learn the lessons of its tragic experience. The path to peace had never been easy. Lebanon had faced and continued to face blatant aggression which could lead to uncontrollable consequences.
He said Israel had failed to heed appeals to abide by Security Council resolution 425 (1978) which had called for its withdrawal from Lebanese territory. Pictures of deaths of women and children and the destruction of Lebanese infrastructure had been seen, and Kuwait felt the pain of Lebanon. It condemned Israeli aggression.
He called on the Council to use every means available in the Charter to secure Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon. Kuwait had extended emergency assistance to Lebanon. He appealed to the co-sponsors of the Middle East Conference to ensure the success of their efforts.
MOHAMED A. AZWAI (Libya) said the media had shown columns and columns of children and he wondered whether those children were Hezbollah combatants. Were the children killed in the ambulance Hezbollah combatants?, he asked.
Israel had not heeded Security Council resolution 425 (1978), 18 years after its adoption, he said. Israel, through its land and sea blitz, wanted to impose the unthinkable on Lebanon. Israel wanted to terrorize Arab States to their knees. He called on the Security Council to intervene forcefully and not merely condemn Israel. Israel should be made to withdraw and Lebanon compensated for its losses. Furthermore, the humiliating treatment of the Palestinians in the occupied territories did not serve the cause of peace. Negative repercussions to the Israeli actions would be greater if the Security Council did not act.
RAMTANE LAMAMRA (Algeria) said that five days of violence in Lebanon was a violation of international law and the integrity of Lebanon. By resorting to force in that way, Israel was in violation of the terms of the Charter and of the most basic international norms. The implementation of Council resolution 425 (1978), now more than ever, was an essential prerequisite for peace. Since the Security Council did not regularly address the situation in southern Lebanon, an unfortunate phenomenon had taken place. The international community had become used to the continuing violation of resolution 425 (1978). The Security Council and its permanent members must act resolutely to forestall a humanitarian crisis which could threaten peace throughout the Middle East region.
RAVAN FARHADI (Afghanistan) said that the Secretary-General had expressed his concern at the continuing situation along the Israeli-Lebanese border and within Lebanon. Israel had spoken to the Council of self-defence, but it had gone beyond the pale. Israeli military actions over the past five days had been aimed at civilians. Did Israel believe that it would attain peace by such means? he asked. By causing suffering and hatred among its neighbours, Israel could not ensure its future security. How did the escalating acts of violence and revenge in violation of resolution 425 (1978) further the peace process? Israel had not turned to the Council prior to undertaking its military actions. It had clearly not exhausted all peaceful means to resolve the situation.
AHMED SNOUSSI (Morocco) said that the Security Council was meeting for the second time in one day to deal with the situation in the Middle East, at a time when the international community had presumed that the situation in that region was evolving towards peace. He hoped that the unfortunate events in Lebanon would spur the Security Council to enforce its resolution 425 (1978) once and for all. It must do everything possible to ensure that Lebanon could tend to its wounds and undertake to repair what had been destroyed. It was time to complete negotiations aimed to bring security and mutual respect to all the States of the region. Morocco would continue to support a peace process consistent with the return of occupied territories and with international law.
MAJID TAKHT-RAVANCHI (Iran) said that recent attacks of terrorism by Zionist leaders as an "organized cabal" had result in the killing and wounding of hundreds of civilians and the displacement of hundreds of thousands. Israel's lawless action in Lebanon was a grave violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Lebanon. It was a prima facie example of aggression as defined by General Assembly resolution 3314 of 1974.
Zionist leaders had a pre-planned agenda for the Middle East region and would not cease their military operations until their illegal objectives had been achieved, he said. Lebanese and Palestinian civilians seemed to be the "sacrificial lambs" of Zionist internal politics and rivalry. The violation of international law by Israel in Lebanon was so enormous that the lack of a Council response would only encourage continued aggression. In concluding, he said that the accusations made by Israel against his country were baseless.
SLAHEDDINE ABDELLAH (Tunisia) said Lebanon was undergoing another form of collective punishment that violated its sovereignty. The summit of Sharm el-Sheik had condemned terrorism and pledged to rule it out. There should be efforts to safeguard a climate that would ensure the momentum for peace.
The Middle East had seen violence since 1948, he said. Security Council resolution 425 (1978) had called on Israel to leave Lebanese territory. That resolution had not been complied with. It seemed Israel did not intend to withdraw. The peace process should be safeguarded and negotiations should be the way out for the parties. The fact that the Security Council was considering the crises regarding the Palestinians and Lebanon showed that the Middle East conflict should be tackled in all its aspects. Israel should withdraw from the Golan, Lebanon and other territories to allow peace to prevail for all.
S. THANARAJASINGAM (Malaysia) said the latest series of Israeli attacks which began last Thursday had continued to escalate, threatening the Middle East peace process itself. The large-scale Israeli bombardment had resulted in an alarming number of civilian dead and wounded, thousands of displaced persons and severe damage to property. Those acts of aggression could not but be condemned. The Council, as a first step, should call for an immediate and unconditional end to those acts of aggression against Lebanon.
Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon not only violated the sovereignty of Lebanon, but was becoming militarily indefensible, he said. The way out to the protection of Israeli security was 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 could not guarantee lasting peace and security. In the end only genuine peace could promote and eventually safeguard security, stability and development in the region.
He said he fully supported the five requests made earlier to the Council by the Permanent Representative of Lebanon. Israel should stop immediately its aggression against Lebanon and withdraw all its reinforcements. It should condemn the Israeli aggression against Lebanon. Israel should immediately comply and fully implement Security Council resolution 425 (1978). Assistance should be provided to Lebanon and its people to overcome the suffering and casualties as a result of the Israeli aggression. The Council should remain seized with this issue.
HASAN ABU-NIMAH (Jordan) said that some 800,000 persons had been displaced by Israeli violations of Lebanon's sovereignty and territorial integrity. Lebanon, which had been subjected to various kinds of violence for two decades, had only begun to re-establish peace and economic stability. The Israeli escalation was taking place just as all the States of the region were hoping to end an historical phase characterized by the resort to violence. Jordan opposed and condemned all manifestations of the use of force, particularly when employed against civilians.
The Security Council should deal with the tragic situation in Lebanon by ending the hostilities in a definitive manner, he said. It should implement its resolution 425 (1978), which called for Israel to cease its occupation of Lebanese land. That was the only way to stop the violence. Using violence to react to violence would only lead to a cycle of conflict, the consequences of which could not be predicted. Jordan stood with Lebanon and called on the Council to resolve the situation by restoring to Lebanon its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
TULUY TANÇ (Turkey) reiterated that terrorism posed the greatest threat to the security and stability of the Middle East. Terrorists were trying to undermine the hopes for peace and prospects for prosperity. Common understanding and cooperation among the countries of the region were required for peace in the region. Common action was called for to combat terrorism. His Government also believed that terrorism should not inflict any harm on innocent civilians. If peace was to triumph, the support of the people of the region should continue. Turkey was concerned that the recent developments might lead to the loss of that support, causing a loss of momentum in the quest for peace.
His Government's position on the fight against terrorism and concerns for the safety of innocent civilians had been brought to the attention of Israel. As a neighbouring country, Turkey would continue to follow the developments closely and called for the implementation of relevant Security Council resolutions.
ANDELFO J. GARCIA (Colombia) said that the prerequisite for peace was respect for the territorial integrity of Lebanon, in keeping with views of the members of the Non-Aligned Movement. There should be efforts to support measures to free occupied Lebanese territory. The attacks on Lebanon violated international law, caused hardship and threatened international peace. Only compliance with Security Council resolution 425 (1978) would engender peace. The Israeli attacks, too, should cease to allow negotiations towards peace to take place.
AHMAD KAMAL (Pakistan) said his delegation, like all others, was deeply concerned over the recent escalation of hostilities along the Israel-Lebanon border and inside Lebanon, which had resulted in deaths and injuries to innocent civilians. That extension of the conflict was reprehensible and deplorable and should be stopped.
Pakistan had consistently advocated that, in order to achieve a durable and comprehensive peace in the Middle East, it was vital that successful progress must also be simultaneously achieved in resolving the Israeli-Syrian and the Israeli-Lebanese conflicts, he said. Unless those fundamental issues were also adequately addressed, peace would continue to elude the region. Throughout the Middle East conflict, Pakistan had consistently endorsed the view that Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 425 (1978) provided a viable and just framework for the resolution of the Middle East and Palestinian problems. During the transitional period, Israel should fully respect and implement the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention and relevant Security Council resolutions in the occupied Arab territories. Resolution 425 (1978), in particular, had called for the unconditional withdrawal of Israeli forces form Lebanon and remained unimplemented.
The President of the Council, Mr. SOMAVIA (Chile), said that the conclusion he could draw as President of the Council from the debate was that all who had spoken had called for the violence, fighting and bloodshed to stop. The humanitarian needs of the population should be addressed and the peace process sustained.