U.S., France OK U.N. Mideast Truce Pact

The United States has gotten France to sign off on a U.N. Security Council resolution that would institute a conditional cease-fire in the Israel-Lebanon conflict.

The United States and France reached agreement Saturday on a U.N. Security Council resolution aimed at ending the fighting between Israel and Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas, U.S. Ambassador John Bolton said. Bolton refused to comment on the text, but an official with knowledge of the document said the draft calls for a “full cessation of violence” between Israel and Hezbollah, but would allow Israel the right to launch strikes if Hezbollah attacks it. “It does not say immediate cessation of violence,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the draft had not yet been made public.

That appeared to be a major victory for the U.S. and Israel. France and many other nations had demanded an immediate halt to the fighting without conditions as a way to push the region back toward stability.

The full, 15-nation Security Council was expected to meet later in the day to discuss the resolution, and it was likely to be adopted in the next couple of days, Bolton said.

It’s far from clear how meaningful this will be, presuming it passes the full Council. Hezbollah will certainly continue to continue firing rockets into Israel and allow Israel to continue to kill Lebanese civilians so long as it is to their operational advantage.

FILED UNDER: Middle East, United Nations, , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. From the headline it seems that France and U.S. are the ones fighting in the Mideast. The fact that neither party doing the fighting is in the “pact”…well, draw your own conclusions.

  2. DC Loser says:

    Patrick Lang make the following observations:

    http://turcopolier.typepad.com/

    1- France and the United States are not at war with each other. They cannot agree to end the fighting.

    2- Hizbullah thinks it is winning both tactically and strategically. Why will it agree to anything other than a cease-fire in place?

    3- Such a cease-fire will be a victory for Hizbullah.

    4- Who will disarm Hizbullah if it accepts such a cease-fire?

    The news babble over this non-event is meaningless.

    Pat Lang

  3. Steve says:

    It’s far from clear how meaningful this will be, presuming it passes the full Council. Hezbollah will certainly continue to continue firing rockets into Israel and allow Israel to continue to kill Lebanese civilians so long as it is to their operational advantage.

    James,
    From this quote one would conclude that all of Hezbollh’s rockets are being fired at ligitimate targets while all of Israel’s targets are civilians. Thank you for this clarification. Not of the facts but of your prejudices.
    Steve

  4. James Joyner says:

    Steve: Hezbollah is a terrorist group. Israel is a state. They operate under different conditions.

    When Hezbollah kills civilians, so long as they aren’t Muslim civilians, they’re accomplishing their mission. When Israel does it, they’re playing into the terrorists’ hands.

    Fair? Nope. Reality? Yup.

  5. Anderson says:

    The proper response to a few missiles is a well-aimed strike at a known Hezbollah leader/post.

    NOT bombing civilian neighborhoods & killing 50 civilians for 1 Hezbollah member.

    The Israelis have lost their collective minds, much as we did when we invaded Iraq. They would be wise to learn from our example.

  6. Kenny says:

    The proper response to a few missiles is a well-aimed strike at a known Hezbollah leader/post.

    “known Hexbollah leader” is in room with civilians giving orders to fire rockets into Isreal….now what do you do?????

  7. DSmith says:

    Which 50 “civilians” would those be? And which one of the 51 is the Hezbollah member? And how do you, or I, or Israel, know which is which?

  8. I think the significance of this is if the UN passes this as their call for a cease fire, then both sides get to natter about the UN resolution until it is accepted by both sides.

    Once accepted, it would either give Israel what it wants (peace) or it will allow Israel to go after Hezbollah with the UN resolution backing (as they have the right under the resolution to retaliate if Hezbollah violates the cease fire.

  9. DC Loser says:

    Israel will have to get in line to enforce UN resolutions. First, it’ll have to abide the ones it’s ignored all these decades before clamoring to enforce this one.

  10. Anderson says:

    Which 50 “civilians” would those be? And which one of the 51 is the Hezbollah member? And how do you, or I, or Israel, know which is which?

    Congratulations, you have just discovered the argument against killing civilians at random.

  11. Herb says:

    “A Few Missiles” ?

    It’s good to see that there are those who either can’t count of are so bigoted that they refuse to see where the danger to Israel and the entire world is.

    I ask, how would you like it if someone sent”A Few Missiles” over your way with the sole purpose of killing you and other civilians. I would bet you would not like it a bit.

    [Comments in violation of site policies deleted.]

    One thing they all forget. Israel is fighting Hezbollah for their very existence and thank god for their willingness to do it in a place that is not on main street America.

    [Comments in violation of site policies deleted.]

  12. G A Phillips says:

    Truce lol we should be sending the Jews stealth bombers.If those Innocent people where not harboring a bleeping terrorist bleeping army in their country they might not be so close the blast radius, I say carpet bomb it till the rockets stop.

  13. DC Loser says:

    Guess who blinked first?

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/746632.html

    “Israel drops call for immediate deployment of int’l force in S. Lebanon, UNIFIL can oversee cease-fire.”

    Some victory.

  14. joe says:

    There are several things that puzzle me.
    1)Given that the problems at the Israel Lebanon boarder have been going on for over 20 years, why do both sides live so close to the blue line?
    2)Why Israel does not evacuate the people from the boarder towns that are under frequent attacks?
    3)Is there any protection for Lebanon in the UN proposal? Will the UN force be strong enough to stop Israel from attacking Lebanon again if some incident occurs (as almost surely one will) that violates their boarder security?

  15. DC Loser says:

    So far it doesn’t seem like Hezbollah and the Lebanese government are in the mood to accept this deal.