If the UN has no direct mandate, but can only “help” disarm Hizballah (and Siniora and Nasrallah have reportedly agreed this won’t happen), then the blue berets that do go in will only be an internationalized set of human shields for Hizballah to hide behind. By deploying them willingly in that atmosphere, the UN will thus be using its influence and resources to protect Hizballah from Israel. From the Jerusalem Post: “IDF: We’ll disarm Hizbullah if UN can’t”
The IDF will have to resume operations in Lebanon if the expanded United Nations force being assembled does not fulfill its obligation to dismantle Hizbullah, an official in the Prime Minister’s Office warned on Tuesday.
Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora and Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah reportedly reached a deal allowing Hizbullah to keep its weapons but refrain from exhibiting them in public. Israeli officials called the arrangement a violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which passed over the weekend and was approved on
Sunday by the cabinet.
“The resolution is clear that Hizbullah needs to be removed from the border area, embargoed and dismantled,” the official said. “If the resolution is not implemented, we will have to take action to prevent the rearming of Hizbullah. I don’t think backtracking will serve any useful purpose. There has to be pressure on Hizbullah to disarm or there will have to be another round.”
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni is expected to raise the issue when she meets in New York on Wednesday with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
Annan angered Israeli officials when he told Channel 2 on Tuesday that “dismantling Hizbullah is not the direct mandate of the UN,” which could only help Lebanon disarm the organization. Annan upset officials further when he said that deploying international forces in Lebanon would take “weeks or months,” and not days as expected.