As the United Nations Security Council considers a draft resolution to end the fighting in Lebanon between Israel and Hezbollah, the press in the Middle East considers how the resolution might resolve the crisis.
Two Israeli papers wonder if Hezbollah will accept terms that meet Israel's immediate security demands, while another complains that there are "too many loopholes" in a document that merely "freezes the situation".
That the draft does not demand an immediate cease-fire is seen by one Arab paper as an Israeli "triumph", while another warns that any Israeli "victory" will be short-lived as long as "occupation and oppression" continue.
Commentary in Israel's YEDIOT AHARONOT
The political echelon in Israel has decided to abstain from any reaction to the [UN] cease-fire draft resolution for fear that it might be read with suspicion by the Lebanese side. Around Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert they see the resolution as a big political achievement that, if it materialises, would bring about the removal of the immediate threat of high-trajectory weapons to the settlements of the north... [but] there is no confidence that Hezbollah would enable the Lebanese government to accept a document which symbolises, in the eyes of Hassan Nasrallah, surrender - some sort of suicide by agreement.
Commentary in Israel's MA'ARIV
The Americans as Israel's representatives and the French as Lebanon's representatives reached a reasonable draft as far as Israel is concerned. At the moment there are still disagreements. In the end all will reach agreement on them: America, Russia, China, Britain, France, Israel and also Lebanon barring Hezbollah. Hezbollah can torpedo the whole initiative. The Israeli Defence Force's task in the next three days is to give it reason not to do so.
Commentary in Israel's YEDIOT AHARONOT
I would not hasten to book a holiday in the north [of Israel] in the coming weeks. In the French-American draft resolution there are too many loopholes that threaten to maintain the continuation of tension in the north... The first part of the document deals with the declaration of an immediate ceasefire and, in fact, freezes the situation... The second part deals with the permanent political arrangements and requires more than a few clarifications.
Commentary in Israel's HATZOFE
It seems that in the end the ceasefire will be good for all, but only after Hezbollah's ability to launch rockets at Israel is significantly weakened... The only problem is that pushing Hezbollah beyond the Litani [river] does not guarantee anything. Israel could wake up one morning in a few years to discover that Hezbollah has regained its ability. There are no magic solutions... there is no ideal end to the current situation other than a tense situation - what they call in Israel relative calm - until the next bombardment.
The problem with the draft resolution - which was due to be debated by members of the council later [on] Saturday and might take several days before being adopted and then taking hold - is that it does not set a time frame for ending the bloodshed. The draft calls for "a cessation of hostilities" instead of an "immediate cessation of hostilities" as France advocated, and it appears to be a political triumph for Israel and its US ally, which want the onslaught on Lebanon to continue, to be able afterwards to reach a "sustainable ceasefire". But at what cost? Every minute wasted before adopting the resolution and then enforcing it means more bloodshed and destruction.
Commentary in London's AL-SHARQ AL-AWSAT
I cannot predict the final results of the ongoing war, but political and military views confirm that any Israeli victory will be short-lived as long as occupation and oppression continues. The political and strategic result of the confrontation is clear to anyone who has eyes and ears, which is that a strong free will has been born in the region and it will form part of its destiny without any foreign dictation.
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