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Hezbollah-Israël

Despite International Commitments to Prevent Weapons Smuggling, Iran-backed Hezbollah and Hamas Continue to Re-arm
11/02/2010


11/02/10 - Article Repris de http://www.theisraelproject.org/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=hsJPK0PIJpH&b=689705&ct=8004079

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Following two deadly conflicts with Iran-backed terrorist groups on Israel's northern and southern borders, the international community has failed to live up to written and stated promises to stop Hezbollah and Hamas from re-arming and – in the case of Hamas – carrying out continued attacks against Israel.[1] [2]

From 2001-2008, Iran-backed Palestinian terrorists in Gaza fired more than 10,000 rockets, missiles and mortars at Israeli civilians in southern Israel.[3] In an effort to protect its civilians, on Dec. 27, 2008 Israel initiated Operation Cast Lead - a defensive operation aimed at halting the attacks directed at Israelis living near Gaza.

Following the 3-week Gaza campaign, international leaders from the United States, United Kingdom, France and Germany declared their intent to bring an end to enormous quantities of arms smuggled into Gaza. Despite these pledges, Hamas continues to rearm with the help of Iran, acquiring even more advanced weaponry than before.[4]

The same promise of international intervention occurred after the Hezbollah-Israel conflict in 2006, when the Iran-backed, Lebanon-based group carried out an unprovoked, cross-border raid inside Israel, killed an Israeli patrol convoy and fired thousands of missiles into northern Israeli towns.[5]

At the time, leaders world-wide made numerous statements promising to prevent Hezbollah from rearming, even approving a UN resolution stipulating that no unauthorized weapons be delivered to Lebanon. Nevertheless, Hezbollah has successfully rearmed, with much greater stockpiles than before the war.[6]

International Commitments to Prevent Hezbollah Rearmament Following Hezbollah's war on Israel

On July 12, 2006, Iran-backed Hezbollah based in southern Lebanon conducted an unprovoked, cross-border raid, kidnapping two Israeli soldiers and killing eight others.[7] The assault was one of numerous attempts by Hezbollah between 2000 and 2006 to capture Israeli soldiers[8] and prompted Israel to launch a defensive operation (also known as the Second Lebanon War), to severely damage Hezbollah's terrorist capabilities.

Since the end of the conflict, the terrorist group has amassed more than 40,000 rockets. These include the Iranian Zelzal-2 rocket capable of carrying a 1,300-lb. (600 kg) warhead with a range of 124 miles (200 km), placing all major Israeli cities in range of Hezbollah fire. It also stockpiled unmanned aerial vehicles, advanced Russian-made anti-tank guided missiles and anti-aircraft missiles.[9]

During and after the war, international leaders made numerous statements promising to prevent Hezbollah rearming, and the United Nations Security Council on Aug. 11, 2006 passed Resolution 1701, stipulating that no unauthorized arms be delivered to Lebanon. Despite these commitments, Hezbollah has successfully rearmed and is now better equipped than before the war.[10]

• UN Security Council Resolution 1701, explicitly called for “the disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon” and required that there be “no sales or supply of arms and related materiel to Lebanon except as authorized by its Government.”[11]

• On July 29, 2006, President Bush said in a radio address, “Militias in Lebanon must be disarmed, the flow of illegal arms must be halted, and the Lebanese security services should deploy throughout the country.”[12]

• On Aug. 11, 2006 – the same day UNSCR 1701 was approved, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said, “There will also be a need to make sure that arms cannot enter the country [Lebanon] illegally, because one of the problems that has been there is that you've had arms entering illegally that are not going to the armed forces of Lebanon, but to unauthorized armed groups... This [international peace keeping] force has always been intended to create security in the south, to secure the borders, to make sure that the arms embargo works.”[13]

• On Aug. 25, 2006, French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy stated, “Our objective is clear, to disarm Hezbollah.”[14]

• Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Moratinos said on Sept. 10, 2006, “We have a commitment to preventing the transfer of illegal weapons.”[15]

• Italian Foreign Minister Massimo D' Alema issued a statement warning Syria that the international community “would not stand by idly” if Syria continued to allow arms shipments into Lebanon.[16]

Hamas's Ongoing Terror Campaign Against Israel

As many as 1,500 tunnels now exist under the Egypt-Gaza border. Terrorists use the tunnels to smuggle tons of explosives and other rocket- building material; scores of Grad rockets with ranges of 25 miles (40km); and hundreds of mortar shells and dozens of anti-tank weapons.[17]

Hamas also test-fired a rocket that can travel up to 37 miles (60km), putting Tel Aviv within range of Hamas missile fire. Iran is deeply involved in supporting and aiding Hamas' arms-smuggling efforts.[18]

Palestinian terrorists fired almost 300 rockets and mortars in the 12 months following Israel's defensive operation.[19]


International Commitments to Prevent Hamas Rearmament and Gaza Weapons Smuggling

Following Israel's defensive operation in Gaza, world leaders made dramatic statements – and the United Nations approved a far-reaching resolution – promising to put a stop to the smuggling tunnels and maintain a “durable ceasefire and calm.” The words and promises have yielded little impact.

• On Jan. 8, 2009, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1860, which called on UN members “to intensify efforts to provide arrangements and guarantees in Gaza in order to sustain a durable ceasefire and calm, including to prevent illicit trafficking in arms and ammunition.”[20]

• White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said on Jan. 21, 2009 that President Obama “emphasized his determination to work to help consolidate the cease-fire by establishing an effective anti-smuggling regime to prevent Hamas from rearming.”[21]

• British Prime Minister Gordon Brown stated in an interview on Jan. 4, 2009, “I think the key is that the international powers are able to give guarantees about ending the tunnels, and that will require Egyptian action; about stopping the supply of arms, and that will require the Arab League to be united on that; and, about international monitoring of the crossings.”[22]

• French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Jan. 8, 2009, “We must give Israel the guarantee that weapons will not pass through that border.”[23]

• On Jan. 18, 2009, six European leaders met at a Sharm el-Sheikh summit hosted by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak where German Chancellor Angela Merkel said, “We must ensure that the smuggling of arms, on land or sea, will be stopped. We will assist to the best of our ability.”[24] 
 

Footnotes:

[1] “IDF Operation in Gaza: Cast Lead,” Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jan. 21, 2009,
http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Terrorism-+Obstacle+to+Peace/Terrorism+and+Islamic+Fundamentalism-/Aerial_strike_weapon_development_center+_Gaza_28-Dec-2008.htm; “The Gaza Strip after Operation Cast Lead,” Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, June 2009, 
http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/malam_multimedia/English/eng_n/pdf/hamas_e074.pdf; Lakshmanan, Indira A.R. “Obama Turns to Mideast, Offers ‘New Way' With Muslims,” Bloomberg, Jan. 21, 2009,
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601082&sid=asai6TPFm5G4

[2] “Behind the Headlines: The Second Lebanon War - Three years later,” Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, July 12, 2009, http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/About+the+Ministry/Behind+the+Headlines/The-Second-Lebanon-War-Three-years-
later-12-Jul-2009.htm

[3] IDF Spokespersons Unit Communique, Dec. 15, 2009

[4] “IDF Operation in Gaza: Cast Lead,” Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jan. 21, 2009,
http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Terrorism-+Obstacle+to+Peace/Terrorism+and+Islamic+Fundamentalism-/Aerial_strike_weapon_development_center+_Gaza_28-Dec-2008.htm; “The Gaza Strip after Operation Cast Lead,” Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, June 2009, 
http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/malam_multimedia/English/eng_n/pdf/hamas_e074.pdf; Lakshmanan, Indira A.R. “Obama Turns to Mideast, Offers ‘New Way' With Muslims,” Bloomberg, Jan. 21, 2009,
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601082&sid=asai6TPFm5G4

[5] “Behind the Headlines: The Second Lebanon War - Three years later,” Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, July 12, 2009, http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/About+the+Ministry/Behind+the+Headlines/The-Second-Lebanon-War-Three-years-
later-12-Jul-2009.htm
; Harel, Amos, “Defense officials: Renew diplomatic pressure on Syria as Hezbollah rearms,” Haaretz, July 13, 2008,
http://www.haaretz.co.il/hasen/spages/1001037.html; “At a glance: an assessment of Hezbollah's military capability,” Gulfnews, June 3, 2009,
http://archive.gulfnews.com/articles/06/07/17/10053556.html 

[6] “Behind the Headlines: The Second Lebanon War - Three years later,” Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, July 12, 2009, http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/About+the+Ministry/Behind+the+Headlines/The-Second-Lebanon-War-Three-years-
later-12-Jul-2009.htm

[7] “The Second Lebanon War (2006),” Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, July 12, 2006, http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Terrorism-+Obstacle+to+Peace/Terrorism+from+Lebanon-+Hizbullah/Hizbullah+attack+in+northern+Israel+and+Israels+response+12-Jul-2006.htm

[8] “Israelis Held by the Hizbullah - Oct 2000-Jan 2004,” Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Feb. 4, 2001, http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/MFAArchive/2000_2009/2001/2/Israelis%20Held%20by%20the%20Hizbullah%20-%20Oct%202000-Jan%202004; “Hezbollah attacks at Har Dov (Shebaa Farms) continue,” Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, July 5, 2005, http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/malam_multimedia//ENGLISH/IRAN/PDF/JULY6_05.PDF; “Hezbollah attacks along Israel's northern border to cover an attempted abduction of Israeli soldiers,” Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, Nov. 22, 2005, http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/malam_multimedia/English/eng_n/pdf/hezbollah_e1105.pdf

[9] “Behind the Headlines: The Second Lebanon War - Three years later,” Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, July 12, 2009, http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/About+the+Ministry/Behind+the+Headlines/The-Second-Lebanon-War-Three-years-later-12-Jul-2009.htm; Harel, Amos, “Defense officials: Renew diplomatic pressure on Syria as Hezbollah rearms,” Haaretz, July 13, 2008, http://www.haaretz.co.il/hasen/spages/1001037.html; “At a glance: an assessment of Hezbollah's military capability,” Gulfnews, June 3, 2009, http://archive.gulfnews.com/articles/06/07/17/10053556.html 

[10] “Behind the Headlines: The Second Lebanon War - Three years later,” Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, July 12, 2009, http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/About+the+Ministry/Behind+the+Headlines/The-Second-Lebanon-War-Three-years-later-12-Jul-2009.htm

[11] “Security Council Resolution 1701,” Web site of the UN, Aug. 11, 2006, http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2006/sc8808.doc.htm

[12] “President's Radio Address,” at the Web site of the Military Education Research Library Network, July 29, 2006, http://merln.ndu.edu/archivepdf/syria/WH/20060729.pdf

[13] “Rice: 'Arms cannot operate again' in south Lebanon,” CNN, Aug. 11, 2006, http://edition.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/08/11/cnna.rice/index.html

[14] “EU Wants Mideast Peace Force With Strong Muslim Component,” Fox News, Aug. 25, 2006, http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,210527,00.html

[15] Eldar, Akiva, “The Syrians aren't eager to arm Hezbollah',” Haaretz, Sept. 16, 2006, http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/761959.html

[16] “Italy tells Syria not to send arms to Lebanon,” Xinhua, Aug. 31, 2006, http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/200608/31/print20060831_298315.html

[17] El-Khodary, Taghreed, “Goods Flood Gaza's Tunnels, Turning Border Area Into a Shopping Mecca,” The New York Times, Oct. 21, 2009,
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/22/world/middleeast/22rafah.html

[18] Katz, Yaakov, and Stoil, Rebecca Anna, “Yadlin: ‘Hamas has many 60-km range missiles',” The Jerusalem Post, http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1256799085218&pagename=JPArticle%2FShowFull; El-Khodary, Taghreed, “Goods Flood Gaza's Tunnels, Turning Border Area Into a Shopping Mecca,” The New York Times, Oct. 21, 2009, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/22/world/middleeast/22rafah.html; “The Gaza Strip after Operation Cast Lead,” Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, June 2009, 
http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/malam_multimedia/English/eng_n/pdf/hamas_e074.pdf; “A Year Since Cast Lead: Sharp Drop in Attacks Alongside Hamas' Continuous Strengthening,” Israel Security Agency, http://www.shabak.gov.il/SiteCollectionImages/arabic/TerrorInfo/docs/oferet100110_en.pdf. Accessed Feb. 10, 2010  

[19] IDF Spokersperon's Unit communiqué, Jan. 15, 2010

[20] “Resolution 1860 (2009) Adopted by 14 in Favour, Abstention by United States,” Web site of the UN, Jan. 8, 2009, http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2009/sc9567.doc.htm

[21] Lakshmanan, Indira A.R. “Obama Turns to Mideast, Offers ‘New Way' With Muslims,” Bloomberg, Jan. 21, 2009, http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601082&sid=asai6TPFm5G4

[22] Bone, James; Elliot, Francis, “Gordon Brown calls for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza,” The Times, Jan. 5, 2009, http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article5447544.ece?print=yes&randnum=1151003209000

[23] “Sarkozy: Halt to arms smuggling is key to Gaza cease-fire,” Haaretz, Jan. 8, 2009, http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArtStEng.jhtml?itemNo=1053934&contrassID=1&subContrassID=
1&title=%27Sarkozy:%20Halt%20to%20arms%20smuggling%20is%20key%20to%20Gaza%20cease-fire%27&dyn_server=172.20.5.5

[24] “Statements by PM Olmert and European leaders,” Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jan. 18, 2009, http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Government/Speeches+by+Israeli+leaders/2009/Statements_PM_Olmert_European_
leaders_18-Jan-2009.htm