UNIFIL officers in Lebanon. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla) AP Photo/Hussein Malla
UNIFIL

Ambassador Gilad Erdan files complaint with United Nations Security Council that Hezbollah fired on Israel right under UNIFIL’s nose.

By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel

Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan filed a complaint with the Security Council on Wednesday demanding that UNIFIL, its peacekeeping force in Lebanon, do its job and deal with Hezbollah terrorists operating in the areas it claims to be patrolling.

Earlier this week, Hezbollah snipers in Lebanon fired across the border and hit an IDF position, although there were no injuries reported. That shooting attack sparked an IDF retaliation against Hezbollah targets.

“The last attack directed at IDF forces together with Hezbollah’s strengthening and its activities in south Lebanon raise the chances of escalation on [our] northern border that could have terrible consequences for Lebanon and the entire region,” Erdan wrote in his letter to the Security Council.

The former cabinet minister, who recently replaced Danny Danon as Israel’s UN ambassador, demanded the world body take “immediate steps” to get the seemingly impotent Lebanese government and UNIFIL peacekeepers to take action.

Erdan also sent an aerial photo with details of the Hezbollah firing position, showing that it was right in between two UNIFIL posts separated by only 100 meters’ distance.

Earlier this week Erdan filed another official complaint showing how Hezbollah terrorists infiltrated into Israel last month.

“Hezbollah’s leader Nasrallah has consistently lied about this. His terrorist group’s operations will lead to disaster for Lebanon,” Erdan warned.

“UNIFIL is supposed to prevent such infiltrations. If it cannot stop Hezbollah from turning southern Lebanon into a terrorist base, then its purpose must be questioned. To be effective, its mandate must include expanding access and oversight into areas where Hezbollah operates.”

UNIFIL said it was investigating the latest shooting incident, as the Security Council prepares for a vote this week to extend its mandate for another year.

Hezbollah terrorists have refused to allow the Lebanese armed forces to assert sovereignty in the area bordering Israel. For decades, Israeli leaders have complained that UNIFIL, created in 1978 and currently with over 10,000 soldiers in its force, has been powerless to carry out its mandate that includes keeping terrorists and their weapons out of south Lebanon.

Earlier this week Erdan warned that Israel might support an American veto of that vote if UNIFIL wasn’t ordered to its job effectively.

“Unless there is a significant change in UNIFIL’s powers including the authority to enter private homes to ensure that rockets and missiles are not deployed there, Israel will support the American veto that will in effect dissolve the UNIFIL force,” Erdan told Israel Army Radio.

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