17 Jul Aaron Zelinsky on the Israel-Hezbollah Swap
The following is a guest post by Aaron Zelinksy, a member of the Yale Law School Class of 2010.
Wednesday marked the historic transfer of Israeli and Hezbollah prisoners at the Lebanese border. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, proclaimed that he was “very much encouraged by the exchange of prisoners” and that he hoped it would be the “beginning of many to come.”
Unfortunately, Secretary Ban is wrong. Wednesday’s exchange marked a sad day for
First, some facts. On Wednesday morning,
There are four aspects of this exchange which should trouble Secretary Ban.
First, Hezbollah’s kidnapping of Goldwasser and Regev, and their subsequent incommunicado detention, violated the laws of war. U.N Resolution 1559 clearly delineates the international border between
Second, Hezbollah’s demands for the release of Kuntar and his fellow terrorists in exchange for the bodies of Goldwasser and Regev violated U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701, which calls for the “unconditional release of the abducted Israeli soldiers.” Wednesday’s release is far from “unconditional.” In return for two bodies,
Third, the exchange encourages additional kidnappings of military personnel in order to secure the release of terrorists. Others are already already taking note. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri declared that the exchange “proves that a useful way to liberate prisoners from the jails of the occupation is to capture Zionist soldiers.”
Fourth, the exchange further empowers Hezbollah and its leader, Hasran Nasrallah. Hezbollah continues to rearm and strengthen its positions in
Wednesday’s exchange displays
Secretary Ban hopes that this swap is the “beginning of many to come.” Let’s hope he’s wrong.