UNSC draft resolution on Lebanon seeks ceasefire
A draft resolution circulating among UN Security Council members would call for an immediate halt to fighting between Israel and Hezbollah and seek a wide new buffer zone in south Lebanon monitored by international forces and the Lebanese army.
The proposal was sent quietly by France to the other 14 members of the council ahead of a possible meeting of foreign ministers in New York to discuss Lebanon sometime next week.
The proposal stresses the need "to create the conditions for a permanent ceasefire and a lasting solution to the current crisis between Israel and Lebanon."
Those conditions include a buffer zone stretching from the Blue Line -- the UN-demarcated boundary that Israel withdrew behind in 2000 -- to the Litani River, which was the northern border of Israel's occupation of Lebanon in 1982.
The buffer zone would be "free of any armed personnel, assets and weapons other than those of the Lebanese armed and security forces and of UN-mandated international forces," the draft says.
The document, which is likely to see significant changes before adoption, is the answer to the call made on Friday by US President George W Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair for a UN resolution that would lay the groundwork for peace in Lebanon and deploy an international force there.
It starts by calling for an immediate halt to fighting that began almost three weeks ago and has killed more than 500 people.