Israel files complaint with UN over Katyusha
Israeli Ambassador to UN Gabriella Shalev files official complaint with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon over rocket fired at North Tuesday, demands recent incidents at northern border be addressed by Security Council. On Wednesday, Lebanese army dismantles four ready-to-launch rockets. UN discusses implementation of Res. 1559 behind closed doors: Hezbollah undermines regional stability
WASHINGTON - Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Gabriela Shalev has filed an official complaint with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council president over the Katyusha rocket fired at Israeli territory on Tuesday from Lebanon.
The ambassador stated that there was a substantial and alarming rise in hostile activity from Lebanese territory and noted that Israel has been warning over the last three years of Hezbollah's establishment of a renewed military infrastructure.
She further stated that Hezbollah was settling among the civil population and harassing and threatening UNIFIL troops, and interfering in the implementation of Resolution of 1701.
The ambassador stressed in her complaint that Israel holds the Lebanese government responsible for any attack to come from its territory, and added that Israel expects the serious recent incidents to be addressed in the upcoming report on Resolution 1701 and in the Security Council session to take place next month.
The 107-millimeter Katyusha rocket exploded Tuesday evening in northern Israel. There were no reports of injuries or damage. In response, the Israel Defense Forces fired 15 shells into the area where the rocket was launched from.
A Lebanese security source told Reuters that the rocket was fired from the Lebanese village of Houla, where alleged spy devices uncovered under the ground were detonated recently.
A loud explosion was heard in the Galilee panhandle at around 7:20 pm, only several hours after Defense Minister Ehud Barak toured the northern border. No air raid siren was sounded before the blast, as it has been neutralized.
Representatives of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) were expected to arrive at the landing site to examine the rocket, and the IDF has filed an official complaint.
'Dismantle Lebanese militias'
Lebanese media reported that the army uncovered four ready-to-launch Katyusha rockets on Wednesday in the area from which Tuesday night's attack emanated from.
According to reports, Lebanese and UNIFIL forces dismantled the rockets.
Arab media outlets reported Wednesday on a closed-door discussion held Tuesday in the Security Council on the implementation of the previous resolution on Lebanon, Res. 1559, which also stipulated that Hezbollah be disarmed. UN Secretary-General's envoy to the Middle East Terje Larsen said that Hezbollah is still in possession of a massive arms cache.
Larsen said that the main obstacle to ultimately implementing the resolution is the continued existence of both Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias. He added that Hezbollah is in possession of a huge military arsenal and a dedicated infrastructure separate from that of the State of Lebanon.
Larsen emphasized that this is a grave violation of the resolution in that Hezbollah's weapons cache is a direct challenge to the Lebanese sovereignty.
According to the UN envoy, the recent string of events show that Hezbollah is integrating actions outside of Lebanese borders into its modus operandi. Larsen reiterated that these operations stand in contradiction to the declared national agenda of the organization and threaten regional stability.
During the discussion, Larsen called for the disarmament of all militias in Lebanon, including Hezbollah.
Roee Nahmias contributed to this report