For years, the Israelis have been warning of Hezbollah violations of the United Nations Security Council resolutions that prohibit Hezbollah military buildup in the border region with Israel. Israel not only has evidence this occurring—Hezbollah invited the media to witness it. Furthermore, the supposedly moderate Lebanese Armed Forces was fully aware of it. In response, Israeli ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon issued a strong letter on April 25 to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres reiterating their concerns.
As noted in the letter, during the journalists’ tour by Hezbollah along the demarcation line between Lebanon and Israel, the media took photos of “Hezbollah fighters in full military regalia stationed along the route, holding guns and RPG launchers.” And after the tour, the United Nations peacekeeping force in Lebanon noted that they were given last minute warning by the Lebanese army. “This announcement clearly indicates that the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) was aware of Hezbollah’s intention to conduct this tour in advance and serves as alarming proof of the growing cooperation between Hezbollah and the LAF,” Danon wrote in the letter, which was posted to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.
Danon went on to say that it is “extremely disturbing that armed Hezbollah militants feel free to move openly” without challenge in the U.N. peacekeeping zone.
Furthermore, Danon went on to cite an interview by Lebanese President Michel Aoun, in which he said the Hezbollah weapons complement that of the Lebanese military, as an example of how the Lebanese government is “failing to fulfill its obligations” under the U.N. resolutions relating to the terrorist group’s weapons. In fact, Danon went on, the Lebanese government is “actively encouraging and legitimizing Hezbollah’s activities, in clear violation of these resolutions.”
Danon said that Hezbollah now has more than 150,000 missiles and rockets, while using the civilian population in the south of Lebanon as human shields to protect their weapons.
Referring to the “worrisome trend of Hezbollah’s continued military buildup,” Danon said this has “serious repercussions on the stability of the region, Lebanon’s future and the ability of its government to exercise full governance within its country.” Lebanese government independence, particularly from Syria—which like Hezbollah is a patron of Iran and also a close ally with Hezbollah—has long been an American concern. Danon believes it should be a global one.
“The international community cannot continue to turn a blind eye to Hezbollah’s flagrant violations of UNSC resolutions 1701 and 1559. The Security Council must send a strong message to the Government of Lebanon and demand that it fully implements these resolutions, not only in word but in concrete action.”
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, April 30, 2017)