Annan: Israel violates cease-fire

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Israel violated resolution 1701 yesterday when troops from the Matkal, a special forces elite unit, launched a commando raid near the Hezbollah stronghold of Baalbek, in the Beka valley, according to Kofi Annan. One Israeli soldier was killed and two injured. Three Hezbollah members were killed according to Lebanese security officials.

Spokesman Mark Regev defended the action, saying "Israel reserves the right to act in order to enforce the spirit of the [UN] resolution,". The resolution called for a cessation of all hostilities, and an arms embargo. The Israeli Prime minister, Ehud Olmert justified the attack, stating that it was intended to prevent the supply of new weapons and ammunition to Hezbollah.

"The Secretary-General is deeply concerned about a violation by the Israeli side of the cessation of hostilities as laid out in Security Council resolution 1701," said a UN spokesperson. Kofi Annan, the UN secretary general said violations of the resolution like Israel's "endanger the fragile calm that was reached after much negotiation and undermine the authority of the Government of Lebanon." He called on all parties "to respect strictly the arms embargo, exercise maximum restraint, avoid provocative actions and display responsibility in implementing resolution 1701."