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Lebanese Foreign Minister Rejects Israel’s Demand of Changing “Rules of Engagement” | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Beirut, Asharq Al-Awsat-Following the Israeli rhetoric about “changing the rules of engagement” in south Lebanon and the repercussions of the “civilian” clash with the UN force operating in the south [UNIFIL] last Saturday, the Lebanese intelligence service uncovered a network linked to Al-Qaeda organization which Lebanese security sources said is the most dangerous one in the history of the struggle between this organization and the Lebanese security organs. They said this network was preparing to attack the UNIFIL in addition to staging terrorist operations “from Lebanese territories.” The sources also disclosed that “this network’s members are Arab nationals except for one who is a Greek national but of Arab origin.”

Lebanese President Michel Suleiman underlined yesterday the “the need to comply with Resolution 1701 in all its clauses and without any amendment.”

On his part, Lebanese Foreign Minister Fawzi Salloukh stressed to “Asharq Al-Awsat” Lebanon’s refusal to change the rules of engagement saying Israel’s demand to change them “does not mean that this has happened” and pointed out that it requires the agreement of all parties and a UN Security Council resolution. We do not agree.” He disclosed there was an Israeli message about changing the rules of engagement “which we have not received its purport yet” and noted Lebanon is waiting to see it before replying but asserted firmly “it will not agree to any change to the rules of engagement which were laid down after the 2006 war.” He then said: “We will not accept any amendments to Resolution 1701. All we are demanding is pressure on Israel to implement it.”

In reply to a question about the timing of this request with the clash between UNIFIL and Lebanese civilians on Saturday, Salloukh said: “Israel uses every excuse to benefit from it in its hostile policy toward Lebanon as if we are the ones staging thousands of air sorties over its territories, occupying Shebaa Farms, firing thousands of cluster bombs at it, and planting thousands of mines.” He pointed out that the Defense Ministry and the Lebanese Armed Forces were taking measures in cooperation with “UNIFIL” to contain the repercussions of what happened in Khirbat Silm village.