UN Security Council Toughens UNIFIL Mandate

YERUSHALAYIM -
Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon seen during a visit of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres (unseen) at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Yerushalayim, Monday. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israel won a diplomatic victory at the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday as the member nations adopted a resolution requiring the UNIFIL peacekeeping force to take more effective measures in preventing Hezbollah violations of the ceasefire on the Israel-Lebanon border.

The resolution came after repeated Israeli and U.S. protests against the failure of UNIFIL to police the border, as well as a public scolding of the U.N. secretary-general by Prime Minister Netanyahu over the issue at a joint press conference in Yerushalayim on Monday.

The decision, made on the annual renewal of the UNIFIL mandate, now requires it to expand its reports to the Security Council and take deliberate action against Hezbollah’s violations. UNIFIL’s presence on the ground will increase significantly, and troops will be required to tour the Hezbollah-controlled areas of southern Lebanon. UNIFIL must also report all instances of Hezbollah’s violations and attempts to deny access immediately.

Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon hailed the resolution as “a significant diplomatic achievement that could change the situation in southern Lebanon and expose the terror infrastructure that Hezbollah set up on the border with Israel.”

He continued, “The resolution requires UNIFIL to open its eyes, and forces it to act against Hezbollah’s terror buildup in the area. We will continue the fight against Hezbollah and ensure that UNIFIL fulfills its duties on the ground.”

“I thank the United States for leading this important effort, and for standing up for Israel’s security interests,” said Ambassador Danon. “I also thank France for facilitating the negotiations along with the passing of the resolution. The United Nations secretary-general and Security Council members have made the right decision to serve the most fundamental principle of the United Nations: combating terrorism and maintaining stability and tranquility,” Danon concluded.