Lebanon. The EU and Lebanon agreed January 10 on an association agreement. It took until June 17 before it was signed when Lebanon boycotted the ceremony in Spain in April because of Israeli attacks on Palestinian territories.
According to Countryaah website, national day of Lebanon is every November 22. Lebanon hosted a summit in the framework of the Arab League at the end of March. The meeting was dominated by Saudi Arabia’s Middle East peace plan, but Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak, Jordan’s King Abdullah and Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat failed.
Firearms and artillery fire occurred between Israeli forces and the Hizbullah guerrillas at the Israeli border. Great excitement prevailed in April when Hizbullah fired the disputed Shebaa area, which Israel conquered from Syria in 1967. Israeli airstrikes were also reported.
Lebanon’s plans to divert water from the Wazzani River, which accounts for a tenth of Israel’s drinking water, triggered another dispute. The United States intervened since Israel was threatened with military violence in September if the country’s water supply was threatened.
On September 5, the TV station MTV was closed, citing its “propaganda” in connection with a filling election in June. The closure was seen as a way to silence critics of Syria’s strong influence in Lebanon. MTV’s owner Gabriel Murr, who won the election, belongs to these. Nearly 6,000 lawyers objected to the closure through a one-day strike that crippled ongoing trials.
Lebanon’s President Emile Lahoud was visited in March by Syrian President Bashar al-Asad for talks on finance, agriculture and dust projects. In early April, Lebanon’s army announced that Syria’s 20,000 soldiers would be moved closer to the Syrian border.
Parliament adopted a budget for February 2002. The decision was preceded by a contentious decision to introduce 10% VAT. In late August, Prime Minister Rafiq al-Hariri announced a 2003 budget marked by continued austerity. Reconstruction costs after the 1975-90 civil war are a major cause of the $ 29 billion foreign debt.
On November 24, France hosted a donor conference in which Lebanon pledged $ 4 billion in credits to avert an acute economic crisis. Saudi Arabia was the largest single donor with $ 700 million. The United States was among those who did not make any contributions at all.
Several notable attacks occurred during the year. Jihad Jibril, son of Ahmad Jibril, leader of the militant movement People’s Front of Palestine Liberation-General Command (PFLP-GC), was killed by a car bomb May 20 in Beirut. Another car bomb killed in January Elie Hubauyka, leader of the banned Christian militia group of Lebanese forces (Forces Libanaises), allied with Israel in the Lebanon 1982 invasion.
Israel’s war on Lebanon was first and foremost a war on the civilian population and thus a violation of the 4th Geneva Convention, which deals with the protection of the civilian population under warlike conditions. Israel thus blamed war crimes that did not differ from Hezbollah’s attacks on civilians in Israel – apart from the extent. Israel killed 40-50 times more civilians, and the systematic destruction of Lebanon’s infrastructure at the same time made Israel guilty of state terrorism.
Already on July 20, UN Human Rights Commissioner Louise Arbor criticized the war and talked about possible war crimes in Lebanon, Israel and Gaza. She further stated:
Indiscriminate shelling of cities constitutes a foreseeable and unacceptable targeting of civilians… Similarly, the bombardment of sites with alleged military significance, but resulting invariably in the killing of innocent civilians, is unjustifiable
The Human Rights Council adopted an opinion on August 11 that sharply criticized Israel for its war crimes in Lebanon. Israel was notorious for facing all kinds of international criticism whether it came from the International Court of Justice in The Hague, the UN or human rights organizations.
The United Nations and the International Red Cross were already rapidly developing the situation in southern Lebanon after a week of war, on a large-scale humanitarian disaster, when Israel bombed the infrastructure and damaged all its vehicles. This included refugees, emergency convoys and ambulances. International Red Cross reported such Israeli attacks on ambulances, one of which was hit by an Israeli precision missile in the middle of the cross. A practice Israel had already used for several years in Gaza and the West Bank.
In desperation that its land offensive in the south had stalled due to fierce Lebanese resistance and continued massive Lebanese rocket attacks on Israel, Israeli fighter planes attacked the Christian Quarter of Beirut on August 4, destroying the last 5 bridges of Beirut, bringing relief efforts for stopping. At the same time, the last bridges over the Litani River were bombed so that relief organizations could no longer transport emergency aid into southern Lebanon. In protest, relief organizations began to transport the relief aid across the Litani River by hand. In the Bekaa Valley, Israeli bombers killed 23 country workers and from southern Lebanon there were reports of 53 killed civilians in two houses bombed by Israel. In revenge for Israeli terror, Hezbollah sent over 200 rockets into northern and central Israel, 2 of which reached as far south as Hadera, only 40 km from Tel Aviv. 3 civilians were killed as a result of Hezbollah’s terror.
Britain’s President of the Lower House and former Foreign Minister Jack Straw declared July 26: Israel’s military actions “may further destabilize the already fragile Lebanese nation”. And further: “I mourn the many innocent Israelis who were killed during the conflict. And I mourn the 10 times more Lebanese, men, women and children who have been killed by the Israeli military. ” He also endorsed the British Foreign Minister’s criticism of Israel for its fierce war against the Lebanese civilian population.
The International Red Cross criticized after the ceasefire on August 14 that the parties had failed to comply with the Geneva Conventions and had sufficient regard for the civilian population. At the same time, Israel’s attack on the Lebanese Red Cross in particular was condemned. (ICRC: Lebanon/Israel: civilians pay the price of conflict, Geneva August 14).
Human Rights Watch closely followed the war, criticizing both parties’ war crimes. On August 3, the human rights organization published the report Fatal Strikes. Israel’s Indiscriminate Attacks Against Civilians in Lebanon. On August 8, it called on the UN to launch an investigation into the killing of civilians in Lebanon and northern Israel UN: Open Independent Inquiry into Civilian Deaths.
At its extraordinary session on August 11, the United Nations Human Rights Council condemned Israel’s war crimes in Lebanon. (Council Strongly Condemns Grave Israeli Violations of Human Rights in Lebanon).