New York – The ZOA has called for international pressure on Lebanon to take steps to disarm the Islamist terrorist movement, Hezbollah, which it is obliged to do under UN Security Council Resolution (UNSC) 1559, not allow it to receive arms from Syria, as occurred last month. Hezbollah is dedicated to Israels destruction and has directed its missiles only at Israel. Since the September 2000 Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon, Hezbollah has increased its deployment of missiles aimed at Israel from a few thousand to over 10,000.
The Lebanese government has admitted for the first time since last years departure of Syrian forces from the country that it permitted a convoy of weaponry from Syria to Hezbollah, which is on the State Department list of terrorist organizations. According to Lebanese sources, Lebanese soldiers halted a convoy of arms-laden trucks from Syria at an army checkpoint in the Lebanon Valley on January 31. However, the Lebanese Defense Ministry ordered the soldiers to allow the convoy to proceed.
The Lebanese eventually admitted that this had occurred and that the arms were destined for Hezbollah after the UNs special envoy to the Middle East, Terje Roed Larsen, ordered an investigation following a report of the incident. According to a statement published by the UN on February 13, the UN forces in Lebanon were initially unaware of the convoys passage, though reports of the incident reached them later. The UN then published a statement condemning the Lebanese government for having blatantly violated UNSC 1559. Hezbollah has never been disarmed. Larsens office is responsible for overseeing implementation of this resolution, which was passed in September 2004.
Arms smuggling from Syria into Lebanon has been the rule for years, with huge quantities of arms from Iran and Syria reaching Hezbollah, especially large numbers of katyushas and other rockets that are stationed in batteries in southern Lebanon and aimed at Israel. The convoys passage was apparently approved by the office of Defense Minister Elias Murr, in coordination with the office of Lebanons pro-Syrian president, Emile Lahoud (Haaretz, February 26).