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Israel spurns UN call for monitors
by ALJ
Monday Jul 17th, 2006 4:24 AM
Israel has rebuffed a UN call for an international monitoring force to be deployed in Lebanon as it continued to attack the country.
Kofi Annan, the UN secretary-general, had called earlier on Monday for a "cessation of hostilities" between Israel and Hezbollah to enable a well-armed international "stabilisation force" to be put together.

Speaking from the sidelines of the G8 summit in Russia, Annan had said: "We need to get the parties to agree as soon as practicable to a cessation of hostilities to give us time and space to work.

"I appeal to the parties to focus their targets narrowly and to bear in mind that they have an obligation under international humanitarian law to spare civilian lives [and] to spare civilian infrastructure."

Annan, who had earlier spoken to Tony Blair, the British prime minister, also said: "The sooner decisions are taken by the council, the better it is, but the parties need not wait for their full implementation to start the cessation of hostilities and to spare civilians."

But Israel, which has been attacking targets all over Lebanon in retaliation for missile attacks by Hezbollah, the armed Lebanese group which is also holding two Israeli soldiers, said it was too soon to consider such a proposal.

Miri Eisin, an Israeli government spokeswoman, said: "I don't think we're at that stage yet. We're at the stage where we want to be sure that Hezbollah is not deployed at our northern border."


Elsewhere at the summit in St Petersburg, the French president announced that he was to send his prime minister to meet the Lebanese prime minister in Beirut in a gesture of solidarity.

by Haaretz (reposted)
Monday Jul 17th, 2006 4:26 AM
British Prime Minister Tony Blair and United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan called Monday for the deployment of an international force in southern Lebanon, in order to end the spiraling conflict between Israel and Hezbollah.

But Israel reiterated Monday its opposition to the initiative. The Prime Minister's Office said Sunday night that Israel would not agree to the deployment of any troops in south Lebanon, save for the Lebanese army.

Israel is concerned that an international force would make it more difficult for the IDF to respond to future attacks from Lebanese territory.