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Congress & the Middle East: House Resolution Commending Israel's Withdrawal from Lebanon

(May 25, 2000)

The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed legislation September 27, 2000, that calls on the president not to recognize a unilaterally declared Palestinian state. The bill also will cut off all aid except humanitarian and counterterrorisim to the Palestinians should they unilaterally declare independence.


Whereas Israel has been actively seeking a comprehensive peace with all of her neighbors to bring about an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict;

Whereas southern Lebanon has for decades been the staging area for attacks against Israeli cities and towns by Hezbollah and by Palestinian terrorists, resulting in the death or wounding of hundreds of Israeli civilians;

Whereas United Nations Security Council Resolution 425 (March 19, 1978) calls upon Israel to withdraw its forces from all Lebanese territory;

Whereas the Government of Israel unanimously agreed to implement Security Council Resolution 425 and has stated its intention of redeploying its forces to the international border by July 7, 2000;

Whereas Security Council Resolution 425 also calls for `strict respect for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence of Lebanon within its internationally recognized boundaries' and establishes a United Nations interim force to help restore Lebanese sovereignty; and

Whereas the Government of Syria currently deploys 30,000 Syrian troops in Lebanon: Now, therefore, be it Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That Congress

(1) commends Israel for its decision to withdraw its forces from southern Lebanon and for taking risks for peace in the Middle East;
(2) calls upon the United Nations Security Council

(A) to recognize Israel's fulfillment of its obligations under Security Council Resolution 425 and to provide the necessary resources for the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) to implement its mandate under that resolution; and
(B) insist upon the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Lebanese territory so that Lebanon may exercise sovereignty throughout its territory;

(3) urges UNIFIL, in cooperation with the Lebanese Armed Forces, to gain full control over southern Lebanon, including taking actions to ensure the disarmament of Hezbollah and all other such groups, in order to eliminate all terrorist activity originating from that area;
(4) appeals to the Government of Lebanon to grant clemency and assure the safety and rehabilitation into Lebanese society of all members of the South Lebanon Army and their families;
(5) calls upon the international community to ensure that southern Lebanon does not once again become a staging ground for attacks against Israel and to cooperate in bringing about the reconstruction and reintegration of southern Lebanon;
(6) recognizes Israel's right, enshrined in Chapter 7, Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, to defend itself and its people from attack and reasserts United States support for maintaining Israel's qualitative military edge in order to ensure Israel's long-term security; and
(7) urges all parties to reenter the peace process with the Government of Israel in order to bring peace and stability to all the Middle East.

Sources: Library of Congress