“Tensions along Israel’s northern border with Lebanon are higher than they have been in years,” warns Ambassador Gilad Erdan in letter to UN Security Council and Secretary-General.

By Andrew Bernard, The Algemeiner

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan in a letter released Tuesday warned of potentially “disastrous” consequences stemming from Hezbollah’s provocations along the Blue Line separating Israel and Lebanon.

The letter to the UN Security Council and Secretary-General, dated 27 July, cites Hezbollah’s construction of military compounds along the de-facto border, as well as Hezbollah’s repeated attempts in recent months to infiltrate or sabotage Israel’s security barriers.

“The Middle East is a powder keg on the cusp of being ignited,” the letter says. “Tensions along Israel’s northern border with Lebanon are higher than they have been in years as a result of Hezbollah’s violent escalations, blatant violations of Security Council resolutions, and dangerous military advancements. If the Security Council does not condemn Hezbollah’s destabilizing activities and demand that Lebanon takes action against the illegal military buildup within its territories– or at the very least, allow [United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL)] to be able to fully implement its mandate – the situation on the ground will continue to deteriorate and the consequences will be far-reaching and disastrous.”

While UNIFIL’s 10,000 peacekeepers are in theory mandated to “restore international peace and security” in South Lebanon and are authorized by the Security Council to “take all necessary necessary action…to ensure that [their] area of operations is not utilized for hostile activities of any kind,” the area has been a Hezbollah stronghold for decades, and the terror group operates with effective impunity from UNIFIL or the Lebanese government.

For months the group has been building observation and guard posts along the border under the guise of a supposed-environmental NGO called “Green Without Borders.”

“These are military outposts for all intents and purposes, established and maintained by Hezbollah terrorists and not innocent Lebanese environmentalists,” Erdan wrote in a separate letter in January.

Hezbollah has also allowed other groups to carry out attacks against Israel from its territory.

In April the Gaza-based terrorist group Hamas fired 36 rockets from south Lebanon into Israel, the largest such rocket attack since the 2006 Israel-Lebanon war. While Israel exclusively blamed a Lebanon-based contingent of Hamas for the rocket fire, an IDF spokesman said that the IDF believed Hezbollah was also aware of the attack.

Israel has also objected to Hezbollah erecting tents within Israeli-held territory near the village of Ghajar, though Hezbollah dismantled one of them in early July.

Erdan’s Thursday letter said that Hezbollah’s actions along the Blue Line were not a coincidence.

“All of these actions are part of a clear pattern of escalation and intensification,” he said. Hezbollah is attempting to initiate friction along the Blue Line through provocations and increasing hostility, all while increasing the terror group’s readiness and military capabilities. This dangerous pattern is leading the way towards outright conflict and the consequences of such a conflict will be disastrous for the entire region.”