Saudi Arabia expresses concern over “absence” of UN Security Council regarding Israel’s “state terrorism”

Saudi delegate to UNSC says council’s “double standards” paralyzed resolutions

Lebanese PM from Cairo: We take Israel’s threats seriously, reject them

GCC secretary general condemns Israel’s threats to Lebanon, expresses solidarity

Saudi Arabia denounced the “state terrorism” practiced by Israel on unarmed Palestinian civilians and said its killing of Palestinians, destruction of their properties and restriction of their movement were a clear violation of international law.

Addressing the UN General Assembly, Youssef bin Saleh al-Fahra, a member of the Kingdom’s permanent delegation to the United Nations, said that the UN Security Council is facing a dilemma of inability to implement its resolutions, which is the outcome of double-standard policies in relations among nations and the use of the veto to hinder the council from its obligations.

"Since the establishment of Israel, the Middle East has not enjoyed peace, due to its continued occupation of Palestinian and Arab territories," he said. He emphasized the need for the peaceful co-existence of Palestine and Israel as two independent states. He also called for the resumption of the Middle East peace talks to ensure the return of Palestinian refugees to their homeland and establish an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.

Meanwhile, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri said during a visit to Cairo last week that Israeli threats against the Lebanese opposition group Hezbollah are threats against Lebanon itself.

"We take Israeli threats seriously," Hariri said after talks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

"Any threat against Lebanese territory, whether in the south, Bekaa, Dahie (Beirut's southern suburbs, a Hezbollah stronghold) or any place in Lebanon is a threat against all of Lebanon and the Lebanese government," Hariri said.

"The protection of any place in Lebanon is the responsibility of the Lebanese government," he told a news conference, calling for "Arab solidarity" with Beirut "to counter these threats."

Hariri said last week in an interview with the French daily Le Monde that he feared "an Israeli intervention" following an increase in overflights over his country by Israeli warplanes.

An Israeli minister without portfolio, Yossi Peled, said last week that a new confrontation between Israel and Hezbollah was inevitable in the long run.

Israel waged a bloody 34-day war on Lebanon in the summer of 2006 after Hezbollah fighters seized two Israeli soldiers in a deadly cross-border raid that aimed to free Lebanese soldiers from Israeli prisons. The bodies of the soldiers were returned in a prisoner swap.

The war claimed the lives of more than 1,200 people in Lebanon, most of them civilians, and more than 160 Israelis, most of them soldiers.

Hezbollah, originally a resistance group formed to counter an Israeli occupation of south Lebanon, had forced the Israeli military out of Lebanon in 2000. Israel, however, continues to occupy the Lebanese Shebaa Farms.

Israeli flights over Lebanon occur on an almost daily basis and are in breach of UN Security Council resolution 1710, which in August 2006 ended the war.

On the 26 men accused of planning attacks in Egypt on behalf of Hezbollah, the Lebanese premier said it was in the hands of Egypt's judiciary and "we regard this business as strictly Egyptian."

An Egyptian prosecutor this week demanded the death sentence for the 26 alleged Hezbollah militants.

The group, which include Lebanese, Palestinians and Sudanese, is accused of plotting attacks against ships in the Suez Canal and tourist sites, of spying, and other crimes.

The defendants say they never planned the attacks but sought to help the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas which rules Gaza and has close ties with Hezbollah.

On the other hand, Secretary General of the Riyadh-based Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Abdulrahman bin Hamad Al-Atiyyah denounced anew the Israeli threats against Lebanon which he described as signaling aggressive intentions to destabilize the Arab country, expressing the full solidarity of the GCC member states with Lebanon and its people.

He called on the world community to shoulder its responsibilities and take the serious measures regarding these threats to guarantee the safety, sovereignty and unity of the territories of Lebanon.

Moreover, such illegal and inhumane practices in the occupied Palestinian territories, including the continuation of siege on Gaza strip, building of settlements and Judaizing the city of Al-Quds are all considered violations of the United Nations charters and international law and represent a dangerous escalation of the situation in the region, the responsibility of which is solely held by the Israeli government, he said.