debkafile Exclusive: UN Spanish peacekeepers cut covert protection deal with Hizballah behind backs of UN secretary and UNIFIL commander
debkafile reveals a clandestine approach to Hizballah commanders in Beirut made by officers of the Spanish UN contingent. It was made after the loss of six members in a terrorist attack last Sunday, June 24. The Spanish peacekeepers offered Hizballah intelligence and military collaboration in return for protection and agreed to set up a hot line for their exchanges.
Monday, July 2, Israeli marks the first anniversary of the Second Lebanon War in which 114 Israeli soldiers and 43 civilians lost their lives and two servicemen were abducted as a result of Hizballah attacks from Lebanon.
That war ended in August, 2006, when Israel and Hizballah accepted a ceasefire under UN Security Council resolution 1701. It was secured by a newly-expanded UN force in S. Lebanon, which was mandated to distance Hizballah from the Israeli border and monitor the region to prevent the Shiite militia from returning, re-arming and redeploying rockets.
debkafile‘s Israeli military sources say that the Spaniards negotiated their secret arrangement behind the backs of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and UNIFIL Lebanon commander Gen. Claudio Graziano. It violates UNIFIL’s mandate and has already encouraged other contingents to follow suit, thereby starting the disintegration of the entire UN Resolution 1701 regime for the Lebanon ceasefire.
Such undercover deals with Hizballah also bolster its active pro-Syrian and pro-Iranian campaign to destabilize the pro-Western Fouad Siniora government in Beirut.
debkafile‘s sources add some details. The Spanish officers arrived in Beirut with a promise to take care of elements which Hizballah found annoying in the interests of generating a “friendly environment” in South Lebanon. That was only for starters.
The 1,100-strong contingent patrols the eastern sector of S. Lebanon which includes Al Khiyam and the disputed Shebaa Farms opposite Israeli Metula, Mt. Dov and Mt. Hermon. Our sources report that Hizballah was quick to catch onto the Spanish officers’ vulnerability and suggested that the presence of its militiamen in the banned sector would have averted the attack, which cost six Spanish lives, including three Columbian members of the contingent. They claimed that the terrorists who blew up the Spanish patrol fled to the Shuba area. Hizballah would have given chase were it not for the ban on its entry to the area.
debkafile reports there is no corroborating evidence that the terrorists who attacked the Spaniards did indeed escape in that direction.
Hizballah chiefs continued to press their advantage with the Spanish troops by demanding permanent briefings on any military movements visible from the sector they monitor. This could only refer to the movements of the Lebanese and Israeli military.
Our intelligence sources reveal that UNIFIL’s French and Germany commanders are considering sending similar delegations to Beirut for the same kind of secret fruitful chats with Hizballah leaders.
Barely one year after the Lebanon War, Hizballah has not only managed to recover its former strength, replenish its rocket arsenal and rebuild its fortified bunker network, but is in the process of breaking up the UN peace force in South Lebanon. Component-units are more than ready to play ball with the very party whose disarmament was the key element in its mission description.