Lebanese PM asks UN to help seek permanent truce with Israel


BEIRUT, April 21 (Reuters) - Lebanese Prime Minister Saad
al-Hariri asked the United Nations on Friday to help Lebanon and
Israel move towards a permanent ceasefire and end what he called
Israel's "continuous violations" of Lebanese territory.
    Israel and Lebanon's Shi'ite Hezbollah group fought a
month-long war in 2006 that concluded with a cessation of
hostilities but without a formal peace deal.
    "I urge the U.N. secretary general to support efforts to
secure, as soon as possible, a state of permanent ceasefire.
This is long overdue and my government is committed to move this
agenda forward," Hariri said.
    Hariri was speaking on a visit to south Lebanon a day after
Hezbollah officials staged a media tour near the same area to
view what they said were recent Israeli fortifications on the
border and to state their preparedness in case of any new war.
    The tour drew a response from Israeli military spokesman
Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner, who said in a Facebook post
that Hezbollah's media tour was to "shake their sabres and pound
their chests".
    Under U.N. resolution 1701, which ended the 2006 war between
Israel and Hezbollah, the Lebanese army is responsible for
security on its side of the border in a zone from which any
other armed force, including Hezbollah, is banned.
    The United Nations also maintains a peacekeeping force on
the border.
    Resolution 1701 also required Israel to withdraw from
Lebanese territory. Lebanon says that Israel has not fulfilled
this because it continues to occupy a disputed area known in
Lebanon as the Shebaa Farms.

 (Reporting By Angus McDowall and Ellen Francis; Additional
reporting by Ari Rabinovitch in Jerusalem; Editing by Tom


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