Warnings to Israel on Lebanon Overflights Linked to French Election Campaign

[Maariv-Hebrew] Freddy Eytan - "Israeli overflights in Lebanon endanger our soldiers," UNIFIL commander Maj. Gen. Alain Pellegrini has warned. Yet Gen. Pellegrini, who has served in Lebanon for years, is actually the chief obstacle to implementing the decisions of the UN Security Council. He did nothing to prevent the arming of Hizballah or the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid, and tens of tunnels and bunkers were built and thousands of rockets were launched at Israel from areas under his authority during his watch. It is time to send the general home and end his one-sided reports, which do little to contribute to peace in the area and result in misunderstandings and unnecessary arguments. It is clear to everyone that until UN Resolution 1701 is implemented in full, and as long as there is still no serious oversight by UNIFIL over Hizballah, the Israeli Air Force must continue its flights. Israel has the right and obligation to defend itself. The purpose of these flights is to prevent the rearming of Hizballah and to prevent a new war. These flights endanger neither the French nor the Lebanese. We should thank Paris for its efforts on behalf of Lebanon, but this does not have to come at Israel's expense, and certainly not to serve internal French considerations to win the favor of Muslims voters in France prior to the upcoming French presidential elections. Former Israeli Ambassador Freddy Eytan heads the Jerusalem Center's Israel-Europe Relations project.

2006-10-26 01:00:00

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