It has been seven years since the passing of UN Resolution 1701, which called for Hezbollah’s disarmament and evacuation of Southern Lebanon after the Second Lebanon War. Yet today Hezbollah is armed to the hilt and more entrenched than ever.
On July 12, 2006, Hezbollah launched an unprovoked attack on Israel, killing eight Israeli soldiers and kidnapping two. Hezbollah’s attack sparked the Second Lebanon War, a month-long conflict in which Hezbollah – a Lebanon-based terrorist organization – fired over 4,000 rockets at Israeli civilians.
The war ended with UN Security Council Resolution 1701. Both Lebanon, including Hezbollah’s members in the Lebanese parliament, as well as Israel, unanimously agreed to accept the UN resolution. Seven years later, Hezbollah has continuously violated the resolution, the basis of the ceasefire.
Hezbollah entrenches itself
Article 8 of UN Resolution 1701 calls for “[...] the establishment between the Blue Line and the Litani river of an area free of any armed personnel, assets and weapons other than those of the Government of Lebanon.”
Instead of leaving Southern Lebanon ,as Article 8 demands, Hezbollah has increased their presence.
In 2009, an IDF intelligence report revealed that Hezbollah had built close to 1,000 military facilities throughout Southern Lebanon. The installations included more than 550 weapons bunkers and 300 underground facilities. Since the report’s release, Hezbollah has continued to build facilities in the region, enhancing its ability to strike at nearby Israeli towns and cities.
Hezbollah arms instead of disarms
The most important factor of Resolution 1701 – mentioned numerous times in the text – is the complete disarmament of all non-governmental armies in Lebanon.
Rather than disarming, Hezbollah has more than tripled its arsenal since the resolution’s passing. Over 60,000 Hezbollah rockets and missiles now threaten Israel’s civilians.
Article 8 further calls for: “full implementation of the relevant provisions of the Taif Accords, and of Resolutions 1559 (2004) and 1680 (2006), that require the disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon, so that, pursuant to the Lebanese cabinet decision of 27 July 2006, there will be no weapons or authority in Lebanon other than that of the Lebanese State.”
By increasing their weapons stockpile, Hezbollah is simultaneously violating three UN resolutions – 1701, 1559, which called on all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias to disband, 1680, which again called for Lebanese sovereignty, as well the Taif Accord — the agreement which brought the Lebanese Civil War.
Hezbollah, rather than keeping a low profile, proudly admits to their severe violations. Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah’s leader, stated on Al-Manar TV in November 2012: “If Israel was shocked by the number of Fajr-5 rockets which hit Tel Aviv, how will it be able to bear the thousands of rockets which will rain on Tel Aviv and other places if it invades Lebanon?
Why does Hezbollah continue to increase its weapons stockpile?
The weapons trail
Not only is Hezbollah guilty of violating Resolution 1701, but so are Iran and Syria. Article 15 stipulates:
“…all States shall take the necessary measures to prevent, by their nationals or from their territories or using their flag vessels or aircraft:
(a) The sale or supply to any entity or individual in Lebanon of arms and related materiel of all types, including weapons and ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, paramilitary equipment, and spare parts for the aforementioned, whether or not originating in their territories”
In the years following the Second Lebanon War, Syria and Iran have transferred large stockpiles of weapons to Hezbollah. In Hezbollah’s arsenal one may find: Iranian-manufactured Fajr-3 and Fajr-5 rockets with a range of between 43 and 75 kilometers, Iranian-manufactured Fatah 110 rockets with a range of 250 kilometers and Syrian-manufactured 302mm rockets with a range of between 110 and 115 kilometers. In 2010, Former US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates commented that Hezbollah “has more missiles than most governments in the world.”
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) August 13, 2013