Minister of Foreign Affairs David Levy said on Sunday following a meeting
with visiting Dutch Prime Minister Wim Kok that Israel "has taken a decision
to leave Lebanon and it is very important for international bodies to
address the content of UN Security Council Resolution 425," HA'ARETZ reported.
Resolution 425 not only calls for an Israeli withdrawal, but also sets the
goals of returning the "effective authority of the Government of Lebanon"
and "restoring international peace and security to the area." As such, a
senior source in Jerusalem said that Israel is asking the international
community for support in implementing the resolution. Approximately 60
percent of the border between Israel and Lebanon is not delineated in
agreements between the two countries.
Sources in Jerusalem also said that Israel is not requesting the
establishment of a new multinational force in Lebanon. Rather, Barak has
said that in the event of a unilateral Israeli withdrawal, he hopes to see
the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) turned into a full-fledged force,
as opposed to the minor role it now plays in the area. According to Israel
Radio, KOL YISRAEL, France has also stated that it prefers an extension of
the existing UNIFIL force. France is working towards convening the UN
Security Council to discuss Resolution 425.
Regarding the possibility of peace with Syria, Barak said during the
weekly Cabinet meeting on Sunday that he is not optimistic about talks being
renewed. "We are leaving the door open at the request of the United States,
but I suggest we do not delude ourselves," he said.