"Annan to Israel: Ask me first
Israel may not shoot back without permission
By Stan Goodenough
August 15, 2006
If Hizb'allah breaks the ceasefire - as they already have - and shoots at Israeli citizens or population centers, territory or forces, the IDF may in most cases not respond before informing the United Nations Secretary General of the violation, and obtaining his permission to shoot back.
This is the expectation of Kofi Annan, as spelled out in a letter from him to the sovereign government of the State of Israel earlier this week.
Annan said Israel and Lebanon must immediately inform him if either side has been fired upon, giving as much detail as possible, but "refraining from responding except where clearly required in immediate self-defense."
Under the terms of the ceasefire, when Israel is firing on Hizb'allah Israel is firing on Lebanon.
Annan is an openly pro-Arab world leader who has on more than one occasion accused Israel of deliberately killing civilians and UN peacekeepers, but has never been heard to unequivocally and passionately denounce acts of Arab terrorism against Jews.
While the Hizb'allah's invasion of sovereign Israeli territory on July 12 - when it killed eight IDF soldiers and kidnapped two - and its raining down of nearly 4,000 missiles deliberately on Israeli civilians in their homes constitute war crimes, Annan's United Nations at no time during the 33-day long conflict discussed indicting Hizb'allah or condemning the Lebanese government for permitting these war crimes to take place.
Annan's letter to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert contains an additional list of "requirements" from this man, who seeks to establish himself as the impartial ceasefire supervisor, according to a report in The Jerusalem Post Tuesday.
Thus he also demands of Israel that its forces no longer occupy, or seek to occupy, any additional territory on the Lebanese side. Should Israel observe Hizb'allah forces restocking their rocket supplies north of the Litani River, for example, IDF forces may not cross that boundary to deal with the threat.
According to a report in Ha'aretz Tuesday, a compromise agreement is currently "being hammered out between Hizb'allah and the Lebanese government [that] would allow the Shi'ite guerillas to keep hidden weapons in south Lebanon."
Israel must furthermore give Annan a detailed description of precisely where all its armor and soldiers were deployed at the moment the ceasefire came into effect. Israel may not change the number or location of its troops without informing the UN chief.
In this way Annan believes he will be able to closely police Israel to ensure its compliance.
He plans to watch Israel like a hawk.
Precisely what he plans to do about infractions on the other side is not clear.
Should any firing occur, Annan said in his letter, "the UN undertakes to bring, in an impartial manner, such incidents to the attention of the Security Council as quickly as possible."
Since the ceasefire went into effect early Monday, at least two Hizb'allah terrorists have been killed after firing on IDF forces in southern Lebanon.
Overnight Monday Hizb'allah fired 10 Katyusha rockets and at least four mortars at Israeli troops in southern Lebanon.
This is in line with Hizb'allah leader Hassan Nasrallah's vow to keep attacking Israeli forces as long as a single IDF soldier remains in Lebanese territory.
And it has been and will continue to be made possible by the refusal of Lebanese Prime Minister Hannah Siniora, as spelled out by him Monday, to in any way try to disarm the Hizb'allah.
Annan has thus far not indicated whether or when he will bring this matter to the attention of the Security Council. "