U.N. Hizbullah Watch Worthless, Says Israel

TEL AVIV (Reuters) -

U.N. peacekeepers in southern Lebanon have failed to report on Hizbullah guerrilla armaments as required, a senior Israeli official said on Thursday, arguing that Israel could not rely on foreign intervention for its security.

“Under pressure, a multi-national force is like an umbrella that gets folded up on a rainy day,” Yaakov Amidror, Netanyahu’s national security adviser, said in a Tel Aviv University speech.

Iranian- and Syrian-backed Hizbullah, Amidror said, has been building its arsenal despite the 35-year presence of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in its heartland.

“Has Hizbullah avoided bringing any kind of rocket, missile or other arms into southern Lebanon because UNIFIL is there?” he said. Israel believes Hizbullah has amassed 60,000 rockets, including 5,000 with heavy warheads capable of hitting Tel Aviv.

“Under their (UNIFIL’s) mandate, they cannot stop Hizbullah and confiscate its arms, but they can write a report. There has been no UNIFIL report about any weapon of any Hizbullah person since UNIFIL has existed,” Amidror said.