Israel says UN encouraged provocation on Lebanese border
In letter to Ban, Ambassador Shalev says UNIFIL forces 'refrained from taking action' to prevent recent infiltration of 15 unarmed Lebanese citizens into Israel; adds blast at Hezbollah arms cache proves Shiite group in violation of Resolution 1701
WASHINGTON – Israel is demanding that the UN bring an end to Hezbollah's armament in south Lebanon: In a letter of complaint addressed to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Security Council President Ruhakana Rugunda of Uganda, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gabriela Shalev said recent incidents in Lebanon, including an explosion at a Hezbollah weapons cache, have verified that the Shiite group "consistently obstructs the implementation of Resolution 1701 by building new military infrastructure south of the Litani River."
UN Resolution 1701 brought an end to the war between Israel and Hezbollah in the summer of 2006.
In the letter, Shalev also mentioned the attack on UNIFIL peacekeepers who attempted to search a suspicious building near the arms cache as an indication that Hezbollah was looking to "obstruct" UNIFIL's mission, also by "using civilians in a violent manner."
The UN said the existence of a Hezbollah weapons cache near the border with Israel was a clear violation of Resolution 1701. Israel is also seeking a similar condemnation of two more incidents that took place over the weekend, namely the infiltration of 15 unarmed Lebanese civilians into Israel and the attack on UN peacekeepers by villagers in Bir el-Salasel.
"Such violations jeopardize the fragile stability along Israel’s northern border and stand in contravention of UN Security Council resolution 1701, in particular paragraph 8 that calls for 'full respect for the Blue Line by both parties'," the letter read.
"Israel calls upon the government of Lebanon to exercise its authority and prevent such violations of the Blue Line that endanger the stability along our mutual border. In addition, Israel calls upon the Secretary-General to exercise his influence and to ensure that UNIFIL will prevent any future incidents from occurring."
As for the incident involving the infiltration of Lebanese citizens into Israel, Shalev said UNIFIL "refrained from taking any action to prevent the crossing of these individuals into Israeli territory.
"Some of the organizers of this violation even claimed that they had coordinated their actions with UNIFIL," she stated.
In a separate letter of complaint to Ban, the Israeli ambassador protested the "meetings between Richard Goldstone, head of the Human Rights Council’s 'fact finding' mission to the Gaza Strip, and ministers of the illegal Hamas terrorist government."
"I am confident that, as a member of the Quartet, you are well aware that the Hamas terrorist organization repeatedly refuses to accept the three principles outlined by the Quartet: the commitment to non-violence; the recognition of Israel; and the acceptance of previous agreements and obligations. Thus, the aforementioned meetings with Hamas leaders clearly violated the principles and policy of the Quartet," Shalev wrote.