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Stop Arming Hezbollah

The U.S. is calling on Syria and Iran to stop supplying Hezbollah with weapons. John Bolton, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, says the international community must work to stop unauthorized weapon shipments into Lebanon, as called for in U-N Security Council Resolution one-seven-zero-one, or there will be a risk of renewed fighting in the region.

Fighting began in July when Hezbollah terrorists operating out of southern Lebanon entered Israel, killed eight Israeli soldiers and kidnapped two others. Israel responded by attacking Hezbollah sites in Lebanon. The violence claimed the lives of nearly one-hundred-sixty Israelis and one-thousand-two-hundred Lebanese.

United Nations Security Council Resolution one-seven-zero-one calls for a cessation of hostilities. It authorizes an expanded U-N Interim Force in Lebanon, or UNIFIL, to help the Lebanese army take control of southern Lebanon as Israel withdraws. And, it imposes an embargo on all weapons going into Lebanon except for those to be used by the Lebanese government and UNIFIL.

"All states," says Mr. Bolton, "must comply with their obligation to observe this embargo, which, if not strictly observed, will significantly enhance the risk of further hostilities." He says, "this burden of abiding by the arms embargo, and the world's attention, falls especially on Syria and Lebanon." Mr. Bolton says, "if the international community applies only a temporary band-aid [solution] to the problem and allows Hezbollah to regroup and rearm, then the suffering of the people of Lebanon and Israel may very well intensify in the near future":

"We should keep our eye focused on the objective, which is that the combined efforts of the government of Lebanon and UNIFIL in southern Lebanon should result in the government of Israel being able to withdraw."

Says Mr. Bolton, the support of Syria and Iran for Hezbollah "in the form of financing, training and supply of armaments does not just perpetuate this crisis – it sustains it." He says, "cutting off these supply lines, as mandated in [resolution seventeen-zero-one] is a matter that can no longer be ignored."

The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.