A UNIFIL peacekeepers from Ghana. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein) AP Photo/Bilal Hussein
A UNIFIL peacekeepers from Ghana

Israel’s ambassador to the UN demanded that its so-called peacekeeping forces fulfill their mandate to keep Hezbollah terrorists away from the Israeli border.

By Ezra Stone, United with Israel Staff

On Wednesday, Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Danny Danon demanded that the international body’s peacekeeping force (UNIFIL) stop giving Hezbollah terrorists a free pass near Israel’s border.

For years, the Lebanese terror group has operated in an area called the “Blue Zone” in violation of the UN-brokered truce that ended the last war between Hezbollah and the Jewish state.

Hezbollah’s stated goal is to destroy Israel, which it pursues using hundreds of millions of dollars in annual aid from Iran and massive profits from an international narcotics trafficking operation.

Danon spoke during a video press briefing, presenting Israel’s demands that UN peacekeepers stop Hezbollah from blocking their access to necessary areas and limiting their freedom of movement, The Associated Press reported.

Danon added that the U.N. Security Council must be immediately apprised when these conditions are violated. While UNIFIL’s mandate includes keeping the border area clear, Israel intelligence shows Hezbollah activity in the area, which includes preventing UNIFIL forces from accessing key areas.

Hezbollah’s ultimate goal is to invade southern Israel with ground forces and its 150,000-plus arsenal of rockets, one of the largest in the region. The terror group routinely publicly express this goal and carries out surveillance near the border in preparation.

“We have seen that slowly there is less places that the troops in the peacekeeping operation can actually travel in southern Lebanon,” Danon said, AP reported. “So we want them to have full freedom of movement.”

“I have discussed it with the commander of the force and we tell them, `You are there, you cannot move and you can’t inspect, so why are you there?,”‘ he added. “`You have to be more active, you have to move freely and you have to inspect all sites.'”

Danon also cited several recent incidents along the border, questioning why the UN spends $474 million of donor countries’ money annually for an ineffectual force that doesn’t do its job.

“We are not calling to shut down the mission tomorrow morning, but we are saying if they cannot change, if they cannot function, why you are spending so much money?” Danon said.

While Lebanon, which is largely controlled by Hezbollah, is currently mired in a dire financial crisis and teeters on the verge of economic collapse, the terrorist organization continues to spend hundreds of millions of dollars preparing to attack Israel and its Sunni Muslim rivals in the region.



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