And is urging the Israeli government to approve it. The ground invasion is still on, but perhaps only until the UN votes on a resolution tonight or tomorrow.
No word yet on the terms, but I think I speak for all of us when I say: super.
Baseless speculation: Was the ground invasion a bluff, meant to pressure the UN into giving Israel a better deal?
Update: CNN says he won’t ask the Knesset to approve the deal until Sunday.
Update: The JPost has details of the resolution. 15,000 UN peacekeepers to “monitor the cessation of hostilities” and support the pathetic Lebanese army as they deploy to the south; an emphasis — not a demand — that the Israeli soldiers be released; and a call for Israel and Lebanon to work out a plan to disarm Hezbollah at some point in the future.
Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora received a copy of the US-French draft resolution, government officials said. He was studying the document and contacting politicians for their input, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.
The officials refused to say whom Saniora was talking with, but the leading Lebanese Broadcasting Corp., said he was in touch with Hizbullah officials as well as parliament speaker Nabih Berri, Hizbullah’s de facto negotiator.
Olmert said earlier today that he wouldn’t agree to an expanded UNIFIL force. So much for that.
Update: Er, someone needs to tell Ynet that that photo‘s not the best one to illustrate Israeli airstrikes.
Update: The UN is set to vote on the resolution any minute now. The Lebanese government, by which I of course mean Hezbollah, has already signed on.
Over at the Counterterrorism Blog, Walid Phares sounds like he’s ready to open a vein:
“As soon as a cease fire occurs, the ‘Hezbollah Blitzkrieg’ will crumble the ‘Lebanese Republic of Weimar’ and install its own ‘Khumeinist Republic’ on the Eastern shores of the Mediterranean. The consequences of such a development are far beyond imagination for the region and the world. Hezbollah would have paved the way for Iran to create the mother of all world threats since Hitler.”
Update: Rick Moran‘s even more depressed than Phares. He compares what Israel was asking for a week ago with what it apparently got and calls it “abject surrender.” In fact, he notes, the resolution isn’t even being passed under Chapter 7, which would mean sanctions and/or military force if Lebanon doesn’t comply; it’s being passed under Chapter 6.
He thinks Olmert is finished.
Update: The Security Council passed the resolution unanimously. Kofi Annan says he’ll sit down with Israeli and Lebanese envoys this weekend to decide when the ceasefire should begin, so look forward to that. The text of the resolution is at the Corner. One minor bright point: it doesn’t specify which Chapter is operative, so in theory sanctions are still on the table.
Update: Captain Ed calls the resolution a mixed bag. He’s right that Narallah didn’t get what he originally wanted, namely, a prisoner swap. But he held onto power and increased his prestige immeasurably within the Arab world, something much more valuable. Ed’s also right that the resolution calls only for an immediate cessation of offensive operations by Israel (with no mention of an immediate withdrawal), but as with everything the UN does, the reality is less important than the symbolism. This will be received as the compromise that ends the war; if shooting breaks out again, the textual niceties will be glossed over. And we all know who’ll be blamed.
I wonder, whose prestige got the bigger boost tonight? Nasrallah’s or Kofi Annan’s?