As the UN Security Council considers renewing mandate of what appears to be an impotent peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon, the US, with Israeli recommendations, propose granting UNIFIL greater powers to monitor Hezbollah and fulfill its responsibilities under its original mandate.
By Itamar Eichner
Israel and the US are gearing up to launch a new initiative aimed at expanding the powers and responsibilities assigned to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in its monitoring of Hezbollah, as the UN Security Council prepares to discuss this week the renewal of its mandate.
Ahead of the discussions, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, derided what he described as UNIFIL’s inaction as Hezbollah continues growing in strength. “Hezbollah is only increasing its power, while UNIFIL sticks its head in the sand,” the ambassador said.
Danon decried the force’s apparent lackadaisical attitude toward carrying out its intended mission, as Hezbollah terrorists continue to conceal military stockpiles inside civilian populations and dig in inside residential buildings and homes.
“Hezbollah has been breaching UN Security Council resolutions on a regular basis and using civilian homes as military bases,” Danon said. “The UN can no longer stand by and let this happen. It’s time for UNIFIL to fulfill its intended task of bringing stability to the region.”
Israel and the US, wholly dissatisfied with the nature of UNIFIL’s actions which have not sufficed in preventing repeated violations by Hezbollah of Security Council resolutions, are working behind the scenes to change its mandate which would go into effect at the end of the month, in a way intended to transform the way it operates against Hezbollah.
View original Ynet publication at: