Friday, August 11, 2006


Real nice, but it means nothing. First of all, Israel doesn't have to withdraw until after the U.N. forces arrive. Second, there's no mention of a prisoner exchange. Demand that the two Israeli soldiers be released, but no mention of the hundreds of men, women and children in Israel's prisons who should be released. I wish I could believe this will stop the bloodshed, but I don't. No mention of Israel leaving Sheba Farms. No mention of Palestinian and Lebanon prisoners being released. No end in sight.....
Oh, and as they were reaching this agreement, Israel has ordered its military to step up the ground offensive.

By PAUL BURKHARDT, Associated Press Writer

UNITED NATIONS - France and the United States reached a deal Friday on a final draft resolution that would authorize the deployment of 15,000 U.N. peacekeepers in south Lebanon to support a Lebanese force as it takes control of the region and Israel withdraws.


The draft, obtained by The Associated Press, would ask the U.N. force to monitor a full cessation of hostilities and help Lebanese forces gain control over an area that has previously been under de facto authority of Hezbollah militias.

It emphasizes the need for the "unconditional release" of two Israeli soldiers whose July 12 capture sparked the latest war, but does not make a direct demand for their freedom.

Additionally, it calls on Israel and Lebanon to agree to a long-term solution under which Hezbollah would be disarmed.

The Security Council was expected to vote on the draft later Friday.

About 2,000 U.N. troops and observers are now stationed in Lebanon. The draft would authorize an increase to a total of 15,000 troops.

The text of the draft does not specify which chapter of the U.N. Charter the force would be authorized under. Instead, it says the force's mandate would include several elements: monitoring the cessation of hostilities, accompanying Lebanese troops as they deploy and as Israel withdraws, and ensuring humanitarian access.

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