Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Latest Israeli Report on the Buffer Zone Plan

The following is a slightly abridged translation of a report in the Israel daily Yediot Ahranot on the buffer zone: "IDF expects to complete by tomorrow night the deployment of troops in a buffer zone that runs 70 kilometers from Rosh ha-Nikrah (Ras Nikourah) to Metula and extends 5-6 kilometers into Lebanon. The purpose of the zone is to keep Hizbullah from the border, to cleanse it of any factors that could be exploited for terrorism and to use it as a jumping off point for IDF attacks deeper into Lebanon, as the need asrises. IDF does not intend to build fixed outpost in this zone and will instead concentrate on destroying all Hizbullah fortifications and military material. IDF companies will circulate through the area with the aim of locating and destroying the fortifications and material. In the future, should Israel desire it, an international force or a Lebanese force could enter the area, if its purpose was to neutralize Hizbullah and to enforce the type of orderly and stable border situation of two neighboring states."

I believe that it is clear from this report that the General Staff has no intention of handing over this buffer zone to an international force, until far in the future and for its own convenience. It is also clear, that IDF will destroy all Hizbullah social and educational facilities in the area on the grounds that they are all terrorist installations. Destruction of farms, orchards, livestock as well as infrastructure in the area can also be expected since these could be exploited for terrorist purposes. IDF will probably prohibit the return of any civilians to villages in the buffer zone, since they could also be used for terrorism. I try these conclusions from the Israeli argument that all civilians will be used as human shields. No doubt Israel spin masters will claim the ethnic cleansing here is being done for humanitarian purposes.


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