Saturday, July 29, 2006

another retreat--Israel will not demand Hizbollah disarm - Yahoo! News

Yahoo! News
Israel will not demand Hizbollah disarm

Israel will not demand the immediate disarming of Hizbollah as part of a deal to end the current fighting in Lebanon, a senior Israeli foreign ministry official said on Saturday.

Israel's stance could make it easier to reach an agreement with major powers and the Lebanese government on the deployment of a peacekeeping force in south Lebanon.

Hizbollah would almost certainly reject a peacekeeping force whose mandate calls for its disarmament.

The foreign ministry official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Israel would demand that the proposed peacekeeping force in south Lebanon keep Hizbollah away from the Israeli border and prevent the group from replenishing its stockpile of rockets from Syria and Iran.

The official told Reuters that Israel was seeking a commitment to "start the process of implementing" U.N. Security Council resolution 1559, which calls for disarming Hizbollah.

"But disarming Hizbollah now is not what Israel is demanding," the official said, adding that "disarming Hizbollah will not be part of the mandate for the (peacekeeping) mission."

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