The parties involved in diplomatic negotiations for a UN-brokered cease-fire resolution aimed at ending the fighting in Lebanon reached a breakthrough Thursday, paving the way for the stationing of international troops in Lebanon as part of a package which would end the month-long confrontation between Israel and Hezbollah.
The UN Security Council will convene Friday to discuss the new proposal, which has been agreed to by the United States as well as France.
The sides are currently putting the finishing touches to the final wording of the resolution. The revised draft calls for a "progressive" Israeli withdrawal, a senior Lebanese political source said on Thursday.
"The breakthrough is based on the inclusion in the call for a cessation of hostilities for a progressive Israeli withdrawal from Lebanese territory to go simultaneously with the deployment of the Lebanese army backed by reinforced UN peacekeepers."
The source said the peacekeepers would mainly be reinforced by French soldiers. As part of the deal, Hezbollah would pull out from south of the Litani river.
The resolution will stop short of requiring peacekeepers to disarm Hezbollah but will call for an embargo to prevent the group from bringing in arms from Iran and Syria, a senior Israeli official said on Thursday.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the resolution would also call for creation of "an emboldened UNIFIL", the UN force currently in Lebanon and long derided by Israel as ineffective.
But the official said: "The (international) force will not have any mandate to disarm Hezbollah."
The official added that the resolution would also include "an embargo that will prevent the supply of arms to Lebanon that are not for the Lebanese army."
Let's get this straight. The Lebanese army, backed up by the UN, backed up by the French, will all go to the wall to restore the status quo ante.
Three weaklings don't add up to one tough guy.
The Muslim world will hail the UN agreement as a great victory for the cause, Israel will be humiliated by its own government if it goes along, and Hezbollah and their Iranian backers will be emboldened to do more than fire rockets at Israeli civilians after taking time to rearm.
Israel must not allow the "international community" to sell her out.
Israel cannot rely on anyone but herself.
Keep up the fight!