The Lebanese president, Michel Suleiman, has called the Israeli threats to strike residential and civilian areas in his country “a flagrant violation of human rights principles.”
In a statement released on Thursday afternoon, Suleiman noted that the Israeli threats “clearly violate resolution 1701 on both political and international levels,” referring to the UN Security Council resolution that ended Israel’s war against Lebanon in 2006.
Resolution 1701 expanded the mandate of UN troops in southern Lebanon, imposed a strict weapons embargo on Lebanese militias and prohibited Israel from violating Lebanon’s airspace.
Suleiman was responding to remarks made by the Commander of the Israeli Air Force, Major General Amir Eshel, at a security conference on Wednesday. Eshel said that: “We will have to deal aggressively with thousands of Hezbollah bases which threaten the State of Israel and mainly our interior,” citing the areas of Beirut, the Bekaa Valley and southern Lebanon.
Eshel continued that above and below the residential buildings allegedly used as bases by Hezbollah “live civilians whom we have nothing against – a kind of human shield. And that is where the war will be. That is where we will have to fight in order to stop it and win. Whoever stays in these bases will simply be hit and will risk their lives. And whoever goes out will live.”
Suleiman pointed out that this threat is “a violation of the principles of humanity and the human rights to live in peace and safety as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights stipulates,” and called upon the international community and the UN to deal with the matter.
He added that the Israeli position is “an attempt to spread a sense of instability among the Lebanese citizens, the thing which the enemy wants, as Israel is happy about the turbulence that is taking place in the Arab region.”