» Special Report | Video archive | E-mail us: Your stories | How to help civilians
Rice: 'Now we'll see who is for peace'
Lebanon, Syria voice opposition to draft resolution
YOUR E-MAIL ALERTS
CRAWFORD, Texas (CNN) -- U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Sunday she expected the United Nations to vote "in the next day or two" on a draft resolution that could help end the war between Israel and Lebanese-based Hezbollah.
In a clear message to Lebanese and Syrian leaders who have spoken out against the draft resolution, she said, "We'll see who is for peace and who isn't."
The resolution does not demand that Israeli troops pull out of Lebanon.
Israel has not expressed opposition.
The draft U.N. resolution, written by the United States and France, calls for "the immediate cessation by Hezbollah of all attacks and the immediate cessation by Israel of all offensive military operations."
The resolution includes "a political basis for creating those conditions ... in which Lebanon can flow its authority south," said Rice.
Calling it a "first step," Rice said the resolution will likely not lead to a complete halt to fighting but could end the kind of "large-scale violence that is really so hard on the Lebanese and Israeli people."
This "first resolution" will lay the groundwork for a second aimed at building lasting peace, Rice said. Under the second resolution, an international force would take over southern Lebanon and work toward helping the Lebanese government gain control of that region from the Hezbollah militia. This region is just north of the so-called "blue line," the internationally recognized border with Israel. (Watch Rice discuss why two resolutions are needed -- 8:32)
The United States wants to see the passage of the second resolution in "days, not weeks," said U.S. national security adviser Stephen Hadley.
Both Hadley and Rice were conferring with President Bush at his ranch in Crawford, Texas.
The crisis began when Hezbollah militants crossed the border on July 12, killed three Israeli soldiers and abducted two. That action, and months of sporadic rocket attacks into northern Israel, prompted Israel's massive military response on targets across Lebanon, including its capital, Beirut.
In the 26 days of fighting, nearly 800 people have been killed, mostly Lebanese.
An estimated 880,000 people have been displaced by the conflict, according to the Lebanese government's Higher Relief Committee. Israel says more than a million Israelis in northern Israel have had to flee their homes.
Fighting intensified Sunday as Hezbollah guerrillas unleashed their deadliest barrage of rockets yet into northern Israel, while Israel bombed southern Lebanon and fired missiles. (Full story)
Lebanon, Syria oppose draft
Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora said the draft resolution, which does not demand that Israeli troops pull out of Lebanon, was "not adequate." Lebanese House Speaker Nabih Berri, who's served as a diplomatic conduit for Hezbollah, flatly rejected the draft resolution, calling it biased in favor of Israel. (Watch why peace deal no sure thing -- 2:29)
Hezbollah's Power and Hydraulic Resources Minister Mohammed Fneish told CNN, "When the aggression stops, Hezbollah will simply agree to the cease-fire on the condition that there is not one single Israeli soldier remaining in Lebanese territories."
Syria's foreign minister, who met with Lebanese President Emile Lahoud in Beirut Sunday, also called the proposal inadequate and "a recipe for a possible Civil War in Lebanon."
"Nobody, nobody, nobody, has any interest to see this happening except Israel," Walid Moallem said.
He also accused Israel and the United States of planning the war after sponsoring U.N. Security Council Resolution 1559, calling for the withdrawal of Hezbollah fighters from southern Lebanon, two years ago.
"Our analysis is that this war is a planned war," Moallem said. "Since they had the (U.N.) Security Council meeting of 1559, they wanted to fulfill this resolution peacefully, they couldn't. They asked Israel to fulfill it for them. That's how things started."
Moallem also said Syria's leadership under President Bashar al-Assad has given orders to the country's armed forces to immediately strike back if hit by Israel.
Syrian troops occupied Lebanon for nearly 30 years until last year, when Lebanese citizens protested Syria's presence in the aftermath of former prime minister Rafik Hariri's assassination.
Israel wants Hezbollah out
In Israel, Cabinet minister Isaac Herzog said during a Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, "We will need to see and make sure, of course, that Hezbollah will not be able to return to southern Lebanon," Herzog said, "that an international force of sorts will be able to stop any of its activities.
"And that, of course, the Lebanese government will assume full responsibility and not adhere to the pressures and the extremism of Hezbollah," he added.
"We will, of course, wait to see the final draft," Herzog said.
Rice said neither side will be fully satisfied with the resolution. "There are things the Israelis wanted and things the Lebanese wanted, and everybody wasn't going to get everything that they wanted. This is the international community's effort to bring about an equitable, reasonable basis for a cessation of hostilities of the kind that are so devastating to civilian populations."
|© 2007 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us. Site Map.