Following intense US pressure, the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday issued an unprecedented condemnation of Monday's Hizbullah
attacks on northern Israel
This condemnation marked the first time the Security Council has ever reprimanded Hizbullah for cross-border attacks on Israel. The condemnation followed by two days a failed attempt to get a condemnation issued on Monday, the day of the attack, when Algeria
came out against any mention of Hizbullah in the statement.
When asked what changed from Monday to Wednesday, one diplomatic official replied: "John Bolton," a reference to the US ambassador to the UN. Bolton lobbied vigorously for the passage of the statement.
The condemnation expressed "deep concern" over the attack, and called on Lebanon
to exercise its sovereignty and authority in the south according to relevant Security Council resolutions.
Security Council Resolution 1559, which led to the withdrawal earlier this year of Syrian troops from Lebanon, also calls for the dismantling of the militias in the country, as well as a call to the Lebanese government to extend its control over the entire country, including the Hizbullah dominated south.
Israeli officials expressed satisfaction that the statement did not include any attempt to "balance it," referring to Israel's response to the Hizbullah attack, and that for the first time ever it placed full responsibility for the violence on Hizbullah's shoulders.
Roni Leshno Ya'ar, the Foreign Ministry's deputy director- general who heads its UN and international organizations division, termed the condemnation a "Security Council warning to Hizbullah to stop its provocations on the northern border."
Leshno Ya'ar said this type of condemnation was significant because Hizbullah was "very sensitive" to public opinion, both in Lebanon and abroad. He said the condemnation sent a strong signal that the Security Council was demonstrating "no tolerance toward terrorism."
The statement against Hizbullah came just a few weeks after the Security Council condemned Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
for his call to wipe Israel off the map. That was also a precedent-setting condemnation, marking the first time the UN body ever condemned an Islamic state for statements against Israel.