27 July 2008

Israeli chutzpah knows no bounds

The sheer 'chutzpah' of the Israelis is breathtaking.

In an interview with the Jerusalem Post on Friday, Dan Gillerman, Israel's outgoing ambassador to the UN, stated that UNIFIL was not fulfilling its Lebanon mandate: "The UNIFIL soldiers were not sent there to give out chocolates to children or write traffic tickets. They were sent there to carry out a mandate which was very clearly defined, and they are not [doing so]."

Of course, as the Lebanon Daily Star reported, Gillerman was responding to the fact that "The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) Friday lodged a formal complaint with Israel for a series of violations of Lebanese airspace over a two-day period. In a press release Friday, UNIFIL spokeswoman Yasmina Bouzianne demanded Israel bring a halt to their over flights as they constituted "a violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701 and of Lebanese sovereignty.""

We should perhaps remind Mr Gillerman that SCR 1701 "authorizes UNIFIL to take all necessary action in areas of deployment of its forces and as it deems within its capabilities, to ensure that its area of operations...is not utilized for hostile activities of any kind".

This includes hostile over flights by Israeli warplanes.

UNSCR 1701 also decided that UNIFIL should continue to carry out its mandate under UNSC Resolution 425.

UNSC Res. 425 called for "strict respect for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence of Lebanon" and also called for "Israel immediately to cease its military action against Lebanese territorial integrity".

This also means no overflights.

In this sense he is absolutley correct that UNIFIL are not fulfiling their mandate. They should have shot down the intruding Israeli aircraft.

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