All Israeli military flights over Lebanon break a resolution aimed at ending the 2006 hostilities between the two neighbours, a UN envoy said yesterday. "Every single Israeli overflight of Lebanon is a violation," the UN special envoy for Lebanon, Michael Williams said. "To the best of my knowledge, there's probably no other country in the world - probably, I may be wrong - which is subject to such an intrusive regime of aerial surveillance."
Mr Williams highlighted "the discovery of listening devices which almost certainly seem to have been left by the Israelis. "Are these violations? Yes of course," he said referring to the resolution. Mr Williams has just drawn up a report into the implementation of resolution 1701 which ended hostilities in 2006, but did not seal a permanent ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah militants based in southern Lebanon.
The resolution mainly insists on the strict embargo on providing arms to Lebanese militias, as well as their complete disarmament. It also affirms the Lebanese government's sovereignty across the whole country. All UN reports on the implementation of the resolution insist that the militias, especially Hezbollah, have not disarmed and continue to get weapons from abroad, and that the Israeli air force continues to overfly the country in violation of the resolution.
Meanwhile, the United Nations Security Council also welcomed the formation of a new Lebanese government. "The members welcomed the progress achieved by the formation of the new unity government of Lebanon and they expressed their continued support for the work of UNIFIL and special coordinator Williams," said Austrian envoy Thomas Mayr-Harting. Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri formed a government of national unity on Monday, ending more than four months of tough negotiations with his Hezbollah-led rivals.