UNITED NATIONS, Aug 13: Guns will stop booming in Lebanon at 10.30 am on Monday after a month-long war that killed more than 1,000 people and caused $2 billion worth of damage.
The announcement was made on Saturday evening by United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, who had been assigned by the 15-member Security Council to decide, in consultation with the parties, the exact time the "cessation of hostilities" ordered by it should take effect.
Prime ministers of Israel and Lebanon have agreed that cessation of hostilities and end the fighting will be in force on August 14 at 0500 GMT, Annan said.
The secretary general said he had been in touch with the two leaders to discuss the exact date and time when the cessation of hostilities called for the council would take effect.
He had urged them that the fighting should end immediately to respect the "spirit and intent" of the council decision, the aim of which was to save civilian lives and to ease the pain and suffering that civilians on both sides were facing.
"So I urged the parties to stop immediately and I would want to assure them the United Nations forces on the ground, UNIFIL, will work with them to implement the agreement and will monitor compliance," he said.
Annan's announcement came as reports from the conflict zone said Israeli forces were pushing ahead with a major offensive to achieve as much of their objective as possible before the fighting halts.
The Lebanese cabinet has already approved the UN resolution and Israeli cabinet is due to take a decision on Sunday. Hezbollah has also said it would abide by the resolution.
The conflict broke out between Israel and Hezbollah after the latter kidnapped two Israeli soldiers.
During intensive bombing of Lebanon, Israel destroyed key infrastructure of Lebanon, including roads, bridges, airports, ports, power transmission and production facilities.
Text of statement by Kofi Annan
As I promised the Security Council yesterday, I have today been in touch with the prime ministers of Israel and Lebanon to discuss with them the exact date and time when the cessation of hostilities called for by the council will enter into force.
I am very happy to announce that the two leaders have agreed that the cessation of hostilities and the end of the fighting will enter into force on 14 August, at 0500 hours GMT.
Preferably, the fighting should stop now to respect the spirit and intent of the council decision, the object of which was to save civilian lives, to spare the pain and suffering that the civilians on both sides are living through.
So I urged the parties to stop immediately and I would want to assure them the United Nations forces on the ground, UNFIL, will work with them to implement the agreement and will monitor compliance.