Lebanon yesterday rejected a UN plan for peace in the region.

This is hardly surprising since the draft resolution calls for a “full cessation of all hostilities” but allows Israeli forces to remain in Lebanon and to respond to post-truce attacks by Hezbollah.

Lebanon is also concerned, quite rightly, that the resolution calls for unconditional release of Israeli prisoners while remaining vague about the fate of Lebanese held by Israel.

While the plan calls for “strict respect by all parties for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Israel and Lebanon”, it says nothing about an Israeli withdrawal from the disputed Shebaa Farms area.

This simply doesn’t equate to full cessation; rather it is a half-assed attempt by the security council to appear to be doing something about the violence against innocent civilians without prejudice to Israel’s dubious position and the covert involvement of the United States.

But what makes the whole affair completely farcical is the fact that, whatever the eventual text of a revised resolution, Hezbollah is unlikely to pay it any heed.

The deal is clear: for “peace keeping force” read armies of occupation; Lebanon is George Bush’s second front in his quest to colonise the middle east and only a fool can expect this to happen without bitter and prolonged conflict.

The violence will escalate, and they all know it.

Read Richard Beeston’s analysis of the sticking points in the UN resolution text.