UNITED NATIONS (Jan. 13)
Lebanon is demanding that the Security Council condemn “Israeli aggression” in south Lebanon and that Israel withdraw all its military forces “to the internationally recognized boundaries of Lebanon.” A draft resolution with these provisions is expected to come for a vote before the Security Council tonight.
The Lebanese-sponsored draft resolution was circulated here today after the Council met, at Lebanon’s request, to discuss its complaint against Israel.
The draft resolution also demands that “Israel desist forthwith from its practices and measures against the civilian population in southern Lebanon” and calls for keeping Lebanon’s territorial integrity and independence. Diplomats at the UN said that they believe the U.S. will veto the anti-Israeli resolution. Earlier in the day, when the Security Council opened its debate on the Lebanese complaint, Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel’s UN Ambassador, told the 15-member Council, that Israel rejects out of hand the Lebanese charges. He claimed that Syria “is dictating to Lebanon to reject any security arrangement with Israel. South Lebanon, relatively the most tranquil part of the country, is to be turned into another Bekaa, Beirut and Tripoli. It is to be used as a launching ground for Syrian-directed terrorism against Israel.”
Noting that on December 20, 24, 25, 26 and 31, and on January 2, Israeli settlements in the north were attacked with Katyusha rockets from Lebanon, the Israeli envoy asked: “Who, then, should convene this Council? Israel or Lebanon? Who is the victim and who is the aggressor?”
Concluding, Netanyahu said: “The government of Lebanon should fulfill its responsibility to control its own territory and to prevent use of the south for aggression against Israel. That remains Israel’s interest, its sole interest, regarding south Lebanon.”