I wish to call your attention to the continuing wave of Lebanese violations along the line of withdrawal. Some 100 new violations are listed in the annex to the present letter, which comes in addition to the previous lists that were last brought to your attention in our letter dated 13 July 2000 (A/54/939-S/2000/689).
The violations involve, inter alia, repeated encroachments onto Israeli territory from Lebanon, including the cultivation of land on the Israeli side and a variety of other cross-border infiltrations. On 1 August, members of the Hizballah terrorist organization broke a gate and penetrated 150 metres into Israeli territory, near the village of Avivim, where they proceeded to set up a battery encampment and mark it with a Hizballah flag. Later, in the same area, the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) both reported that Hizballah members had penetrated into Israeli territory and planted a Hizballah flag. Each of these cases were added to the list of violations submitted to UNIFIL.
In addition, the Israeli side has incurred daily barrages of objects hurled from the Lebanese side, as well as attempts to damage and penetrate the border fence. People on the Israeli side have been pelted with glass, iron pipes, stones and, in a few instances, explosive objects, and threatened with guns pointed from the Lebanese side. These hostile acts have disrupted life along the northern border of Israel since the withdrawal of IDF from Lebanon. They also threaten the delicate stability of the border area. Just yesterday, an Israeli soldier suffered head wounds when he was attacked with stones thrown from the Lebanese side. He was the seventh person on the Israeli side wounded in such attacks.
The Government of Lebanon has taken no steps to prevent, restrain or even discourage these violations. Moreover, Lebanon has refused to disarm the militia groups, including Hizballah, that have perpetrated some of the violations. This policy of the Government of Lebanon stands in direct violation of Security Council resolution 425 (1978). The resolution calls not only for the withdrawal of Israeli forces but also for the restoration of international peace and security and the return of the effective authority of the Government of Lebanon in the area.
It should further be noted that Security Council resolution 1310 (2000) of 27 July 2000 expressly calls upon 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 Lebanon’s taking full control over the area in proximity to the fence with Israel, in order to prevent the violations and encroachments detailed above.
Lebanon, however, has refused to take any steps to achieve the “calm”, the “utmost restraint” and “respect” for the line of withdrawal, as called for in the resolution (para. 5).
Now that Israel has withdrawn its forces, we call once again upon the other parties, chiefly the Government of Lebanon, to fulfil their remaining obligations under resolution 425 (1978), so that peace and security may come, at long last, to our common border.
I should be grateful if you would have the text of the present letter and its annex circulated as a document of the General Assembly, under agenda item 43, and of the Security Council.
|(Signed) Ambassador Aaron Jacob
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