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        Economic and Social Council
11 April 2001

Original: ENGLISH

Fifty-seventh session
Agenda item 9


Note verbale dated 5 April 2001 from the Permanent Mission of Israel to the
United Nations Office at Geneva addressed to the Secretariat of the
Commission on Human Rights

The Permanent Mission of Israel to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations in Geneva presents its compliments to the secretariat of the fifty-seventh session of the Commission on Human Rights and has the honour to communicate the following information regarding the upcoming vote under item 9 on draft resolution E/CN.4/2001/L.2, entitled Human rights situation of the Lebanese detainees in Israel:

In the last few days, during the debate in the Commission on Human Rights, claims were made by the Lebanese representative alleging that Israel has failed to disclose information regarding the location of mines in southern Lebanon, and has failed to hand over maps of such minefields. Unfortunately, these allegations were made with the full knowledge that they are completely and utterly false, with the intention of deliberately misleading this forum.

On 24 May 2000, Israeli forces withdrew from southern Lebanon in accordance with United Nations Security Council resolution 425. Less than a week after the withdrawal, on 1 June 2000, Israeli Defense Force Liaison to the United Nations Forces met with Lt. Col. Mishio of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon for the purpose of handing over files containing information and maps of mines and clusters laid by IDF. Additional assistance was offered should UNIFIL require it.

The confirmation of transfer of the files, attached herewith,* clearly demonstrates that the Lebanese claims do not conform to the actual course of events.

Two additional points should be emphasized regarding the issue of mines in southern Lebanon. First, during the past few decades, southern Lebanon was, and continues to be, a hotbed for terrorist activity. Among other things, terrorist groups such as the Hezbollah, placed large quantities of mines and booby-traps in the area. Needless to say, these mines and booby-traps were never marked, mapped or reported. In many cases, passers-by were killed, or severely injured, after stepping unsuspectingly on seemingly innocent grounds. Today these mines and booby-traps continue to pose a threat to the civilian population in Lebanon.

Second, under the United Nations Security Council resolution and under international law, after Israel’s withdrawal from southern Lebanon, it is the responsibility of the Government of Lebanon to establish effective authority and control over the area. Security Council resolutions 1310 and 1337 recently confirmed Israel’s withdrawal in conformity with resolution 425, whilst reiterating Lebanon’s yet-unfulfilled responsibilities. Lebanon has failed to meet its internationally recognized duties. Accordingly, it should come as no surprise that the minefields, which were formerly clearly marked, might have deteriorated and could, therefore, pose a threat to the population at large.

The Permanent Mission of Israel requests that this document be circulated as an official document of the fifty-seventh session of the Commission on Human Rights.

* Reproduced as received, in the language of submission only.


IDF Liaison to UN Forces
Lebanon (Rosh Hanigra)

Subject: Delivery of files about minefields in South Lebanon

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