United Nations Security Council Resolution 425

United Nations Security Council Resolution 425

On March 19, 1978, five days after the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, United Nations Security Council Resolution 425 called on Israel to withdraw immediately its forces from Lebanon and established the United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon (UNIFIL).


U.N. Security Council Resolution 425 was issued five days after the Israeli invasion of Lebanon on March 14, 1978 in what was referred to as Operation Litani. The invasion was triggered by the March 11, 1978 massacre of 37 Israeli civilians riding in a bus in the Tel Aviv area by members of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) infiltrating from Lebanon -- "See Coastal Road massacre". This attack was, however, just the latest and most deadly in a string of attacks launched from Lebanese territory.

The stated objective of the Operation Litani was to clear out the PLO bases located inside Lebanon, south of the Litani River, in order to better secure northern Israel.

Following Lebanese government claims, the United Nations, driven by the United States, began seeking a peacekeeping force for the area that Israel had occupied in order to bring about a withdrawal of the Israeli forces, and to reintroduce the authority of the Lebanese government in southern Lebanon.

These efforts culminated in Resolution 425, during the 2074th meeting of the United Nations Security Council on March 19, 1978. That led to the formation of UNIFIL, the objective of which was to confirm Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon, restore international peace and security, and help the Lebanese Government restore its effective authority in the area.

The resolution text

Quote|The Security Council,

Taking note of the letters from the Permanent Representative of Lebanon and from the Permanent Representative of Israel, Having heard the statement of the Permanent Representatives of Lebanon and Israel, Gravely concerned at the deterioration of the situation in the Middle East and its consequences to the maintenance of international peace, Convinced that the present situation impedes the achievement of a just peace in the Middle East,

#Calls for strict respect for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence of Lebanon within its internationally recognized boundaries;
#Calls upon Israel immediately to cease its military action against Lebanese territorial integrity and withdraw forthwith its forces from all Lebanese territory;
#Decides, in the light of the request of the Government of Lebanon, to establish immediately under its authority a United Nations interim force for Southern Lebanon for the purpose of confirming the withdrawal of Israeli forces, restoring international peace and security and assisting the Government of Lebanon in ensuring the return of its effective authority in the area, the Force to be composed of personnel drawn from Member States;
#Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council within twenty-four hours on the implementation of the present resolution.


The first UNIFIL troops arrived in Lebanon on March 23, 1978, just four days after the resolution was passed. Israel withdrew its forces by June. Later, Israel expanded its occupation in a larger-scale invasion in June 1982, in which Israeli troops occupied the capital city of Beirut -- "See 1982 Lebanon War". Other major attacks within Lebanon took place in July 1993 and April 1996 --See Operation Accountability and Operation Grapes of Wrath.

In May 2000, more than 22 years after resolution 425 was passed, Israel withdrew its troops from southern Lebanon. Prior to the withdrawal, opposition voices inside Israel pressured the government to withdraw from Lebanon, as they saw no valid reason to stay there and sustain Lebanese attacks.

The UN Secretary-General concluded that, as of June 16, 2000, Israel had indeed withdrawn its forces from Lebanon, in accordance with resolution 425 (1978). [ [http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2000/20000618.sc6878.doc.html [18 Jun 2000 SC/6878 : SECURITY COUNCIL ENDORSES SECRETARY-GENERAL’S CONCLUSION ON ISRAELI WITHDRAWAL FROM LEBANON AS OF 16 JUNE ] ] The border recognized by the UN is known as the "Blue Line".

Lebanon, however, claims that Israel is still keeping Lebanese land under its occupation, mainly in Shebaa Farms. Israel says, and the UN agrees, that Shebaa Farms is Syrian and not Lebanese, and therefore it is not included under resolution 425.

Lebanon has not extended control over south Lebanon, though it was called on to do so by UN Resolution 1391 of 2002 [ [http://www.un.org/Docs/scres/2002/sc2002.htm SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTIONS - 2002 ] ] and urged by UN Resolution 1496 of 2003. [ [http://www.unhchr.ch/Huridocda/Huridoca.nsf/TestFrame/7e93b8efbe9e9723c1256d9000289335?Opendocument Resolution 1496 (2003) ] ] Israel has lodged multiple complaints regarding Lebanon's conduct. [ [http://domino.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/22f431edb91c6f548525678a0051be1d/bb095796d02d589785256b910058cc00!OpenDocument A/56/898-S/2002/345 of 3 April 2002 ] ]

Violations of the resolution

Immediately after the withdrawal, Israeli aircraft crossed the Blue Line on an almost daily basis, penetrating deep into Lebanese airspace. [ [http://www.unis.unvienna.org/unis/pressrels/2001/sc7113.html Security Council Extends Unifil Mandate for Six Months, to 31 January 2002 ] ] [ [http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/issues/lebanon/2002/0730quest.htm UN Questions Usefulness of Peacekeepers - Security Council - Global Policy Forum ] ] Since mid-December 2005, the number of Israeli air violations has decreased.cite web| url=http://domino.un.org/unispal.NSF/eed216406b50bf6485256ce10072f637/2a066c47641b5b6d852570fc00782a27!OpenDocument| title=Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon | date=2006-01-18| accessdate=2006-09-01] Israeli warships also continued to violate the Lebanese territorial waters. [ [http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0204/07/sun.01.html CNN.com - Transcripts ] ] On October 22, 2005 a Lebanese fisherman was reported missing. His boat ran aground in Israel, and was returned by the Israeli army. There were a number of bullet marks on the boat. The IDF explained that they had opened fire as a precaution in case the boat was booby-trapped, but that it was already empty at the time. Many other incidents were reported along the Blue Line such as gunfire and cross border attacks. Both Lebanon and Israel have lodged multiple complaints regarding the other party's violations.

Hezbollah, a Shiite group which exercises "de facto" sovereignty over much of South Lebanon, rejected Resolution 425 and continues to launch attacks against Israeli troops from time to time, primarily inside the Shebaa Farms area. [Saad-Ghorayeb, Amal. "Hizbu'llah: Politics and Religion". London: Pluto Press, 2002. p. 154.] Lebanon also calls on Israel to free the prisoners of war and to hand over the maps of the land mines in the area that was under its occupation.

2000 Hezbollah cross-border raid

On October 7, 2000, three Israeli soldiers – Adi Avitan, Staff Sgt. Benyamin Avraham, and Staff Sgt. Omar Sawaidwere – were abducted by Hezbollah across the Israeli-Lebanese border. [cite web|url=http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/MFAArchive/2000_2009/2001/2/Israelis%20Held%20by%20the%20Hizbullah%20-%20Oct%202000-Jan%202004| title = Israelis Held by the Hizbullah - Oct 2000-Jan 2004| publisher="mfa.gov.il"] The soldiers were killed either during the attack or in its immediate aftermath. [cite web|url=http://edition.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/meast/01/29/prisoner.exchange/| title = Israel, Hezbollah swap prisoners| publisher="CNN"]

2006 Lebanon War

The conflict began when Hezbollah militants fired rockets at Israeli border towns as a diversion for an anti-tank missile attack on two armored Humvees patrolling the Israeli side of the border fence.New York Times via the International Herald Tribune (July 12, 2006). [http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/07/13/africa/web.0712mideast.php "Clashes spread to Lebanon as Hezbollah raids Israel"] . Retrieved August 16, 2007.] Of the seven Israeli soldiers in the two jeeps, two were wounded, three were killed, and two were captured and taken to Lebanon. Five more were killed in a failed Israeli rescue attempt. Israel responded with massive airstrikes and artillery fire on targets in Lebanon that damaged Lebanese civilian infrastructure (including Beirut's Rafic Hariri International Airport which Israel alleged that Hezbollah used to import weapons), an air and naval blockade, [cite web
title=Lebanese Premier Seeks U.S. Help in Lifting Blockade
date=24 August 2006
publisher=Washington Post
] and a ground invasion of southern Lebanon. Hezbollah then launched more rockets into northern Israel and engaged the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in guerrilla warfare from hardened positions. [cite news| url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,,1842276,00.html| title=Computerised weaponry and high morale| first=Conal| last= Urquhart|date=2006-08-11| publisher=The Guardian| accessdate=2006-10-08]

ee also

* Operation Litani, (1978)
* 1982 Lebanon War
* Sabra and Shatila massacre, (1982)
* Operation Accountability, (1993)
* Operation Grapes of Wrath, (1996)
* Blue Line
* UN Security Council Resolution 1559, (2004)
* History of Lebanon
* Israel-Lebanon conflict
* South Lebanon Army


External links

* [http://domino.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/d744b47860e5c97e85256c40005d01d6/e25dae8e3ce54fb5852560e50079c708!OpenDocument Full text]
* [http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/missions/unifil/background.html Lebanon-Background] UNIFIL
* [http://www.mideastweb.org/425.htm Mideast Web copy of the Resolution]

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