Question of Palestine home
17 April 2001
Agenda item 40
The situation in the Middle East
Letter dated 17 April 2001 from the Permanent Representative of
Lebanon to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General
I have the honour to enclose herewith a letter addressed to you by Mahmoud Hamoud, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Lebanon, on the subject of the recent aggressions launched by Israel on Monday, 16 April 2001 (see annex).
I ask that you kindly arrange to have this letter circulated as a document of the General Assembly, under agenda item 40, and of the Security Council.
(Signed) Selim Tadmoury
Annex to the letter dated 17 April 2001 from the Permanent
Representative of Lebanon to the United Nations addressed to the
I should like to inform you of some grave and alarming developments that require your urgent intervention.
In the early morning hours of Monday, 16 April 2001, Lebanon was subjected to a fresh Israeli act of aggression deep inside its territory when, between 0020 and 0035 hours, Israeli enemy warplanes attacked a radar installation in the Dahr al-Baydar locality in three waves, targeting military positions of the Syrian Arab Force operating in Lebanon.
One member of the Force was killed in the attack and four were wounded; and serious damage was done to the site following the outbreak of fires.
Israel had prepared the way for its aggression by committing numerous and repeated violations of Lebanon's airspace on 15 April, and Israeli warplanes are still appropriating Lebanon's airspace as of the present moment.
This aggression is part of the ongoing series of Israeli assaults to which Lebanon is being subjected, and it follows the many Israeli threats to attack the country and make war on it to which we have frequently called attention, most recently in my letter dated 23 March 2001 addressed to you.
This escalation once again confirms the belligerent attitude that Sharon has maintained since he came to power, whether in the internal Palestinian arena or elsewhere, and it reveals to the international community his inherent aggressiveness and that of his Government, which may ignite the region and plunge it into a maelstrom of all-pervading violence and tension and may destroy the peace process and its achievements.
This escalation does indeed take on a dangerous dimension, inasmuch as, in addition to Lebanon, Israel is targeting the Syrian Arab Force operating there and is thus holding Syria responsible for resistance to the occupation at a time when this is a purely Lebanese affair and has been caused by the Israeli occupation of the Lebanese Shab'a farmlands.
In this delicate situation, Lebanon is anxious to stress the points set forth hereunder.
The Israeli attack on Lebanon represents a flagrant breach of the country's sovereignty and a violation of its territory and airspace for whose grave consequences Israel alone bears responsibility, over and above the fact that it has jeopardized international peace and security.
The new attack will not deflect Lebanon from asserting all of its rights or from taking all legitimate measures to liberate the occupied Lebanese Shab'a farmlands, while noting that the act of resistance that was used by Israel as a pretext for launching aggression against Lebanon took place in the farmlands area. Whatever the case may be, the farmlands are not Israeli territory, as Israel itself acknowledges
and Israel’s presence there is unlawful and is solely by virtue of occupation
This attack is a manifest attempt to divert attention from the infamous Israeli practices and assaults to which the Palestinian people in the territories of the Palestinian Authority is being subjected, Lebanon warns against the ongoing series of Israeli threats and assaults against it. It urges the Secretariat of the United Nations to take urgent measures to halt and prevent any recurrence of Israeli aggression against Lebanon's territory and to require Israel to respect its sovereignty and territorial integrity and to implement the resolutions that embody international legitimacy.
Lebanon would like on this occasion to reaffirm its continuing commitment to a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East, in accordance with the Madrid terms of reference, the principle of land for peace and the resolutions that embody international legitimacy, as well as its firmly-held belief that it is such a peace that will ensure a climate of security and stability in the region.
I should be grateful if you would have this letter circulated as a document of the General Assembly and of the Security Council.
Minister for Foreign Affairs