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Annan's Cease Fire Plan & Sheeba Farms

Vital Perspective has an extensive entry covering Kofi Annan's designs for a cease-fire in southern Lebanon. Said Annan, "Israel's disproportionate use of force and collective punishment of the Lebanese people must stop." It is at least arguable that Hizballah itself is responsible for any "collective punishment," launching missiles from Christian, Druze and Sunni neighborhoods in an attempt to draw Israeli fire on them which, in turn, lends propaganda value to support claims like those of Annan.

Points from Annan's plan:

1. The captured Israeli soldiers must be transferred to the legitimate Lebanese authorities under the auspices of the ICRC with a view to their repatriation to Israel and a cease-fire.

2. On the Lebanese side of the Blue Line, an expanded peacekeeping force would help stabilize the situation, working with the Lebanese government to help strengthen its army and deployed fully throughout the area.

3. Meanwhile, the Lebanese government would fully implement Security Council Resolution 1559 and 1680 to establish Lebanese sovereignty and control.

4. The prime minister of Lebanon would unequivocally confirm to the secretary general and the Security Council that the government of Lebanon will respect the Blue Line in its entirety until agreement on Lebanon's final international boundaries is reached.

5. A donor conference would be established with immediate effect -- sorry, a donor framework -- a donor framework would be established with immediate effect to secure funding for an urgent package of aid, reconstruction and development of Lebanon.

6. A mechanism would be established composed of key regional and international actors to monitor and guarantee the implementation of all aspects of the agreements.

7. An international conference should be organized with broad Lebanese and international participation to develop precise time lines for a speedy and full implementation of the Taif Agreement and further measures needed for Lebanon to comply with its international obligations under Security Council Resolution 1559 and 1680.

8. The conference would also endorse a delineation of Lebanon's international borders, including a final resolution on all disputed areas, especially the Shebaa Farms.

And there you have it. The Lebanese army will disarm and disband Hizballah with the aid of UNIFIL+. Defining the "+" will be key, but if under Blue Hats, little is likely to change.

The key here is the repeated reference to defining borders and Sheeba Farms. Expect Israel, regardless of the fate of this plan, to be pressured into ceding the Sheeba Farms.

Interesting math. Hizballah attacks the IDF, kills eight and abducts two. Israel responds in self defense and, in the end, will be painted as the aggressor and strong-armed into giving Lebanon Sheeba Farms.

1 Comment

The mention of demarcation of borders is not really about Lebanon/Israel*, but about Syria/Lebanon. Syria still regards Lebanon as a wayward part of greater Syria, so their mutual border was never demarcated, and there is no Syrian embassy in Beirut. Israel has stated that if Syria relinquishes its claims to those stupid farms it would leave them.

So, the "delineation" described in the plan would be good for Lebanon, because it would be a de facto recognition on the part of Syria tha Lebanon is an independent country.

In this context, Israel would lose nothing by leaving the Sheeba farms. (as opposed to a unilateral withdrawal, which would certainly be proclaimed a victory by HA.)

The trick would then be to get the Tootbrush Moustache to agree, not mention HA. Bot overall, if implemented fully, it does sound like a good plan to me.

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* Uniquely among Israel's neighbors, the Lebanese/Israeli border was demarcated after the 1949 armistice, which allowed the UN to confirm the full withdrawal in 2000.