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October 23, 2016 / 21 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘unifil’

Lebanese News Outlet Confirms Hezbollah Digging Tunnels on Israel’s Northern Border

Saturday, May 28th, 2016

The Hezbollah-linked Al-Safir news daily has confirmed the Iranian proxy group is digging tunnels along Israel’s northern border.

A front-page article without a byline that was published May 25 to mark the 16th anniversary of the Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon highlighted the issue.

Translated by the MEMRI Arab media watchdog, the article said in part: “It is right to say that the men of resistance on the eastern border complement the mission of the first men of resistance [who operate against Israel], who work day and night [along the border, from] the last border point in Al-Naquora to [the one in] Kfar Shouba, conducting observations, preparing, and digging tunnels that cause the settlers and enemy soldiers to lose sleep.”

Last week residents in northern Israel expressed deep concern over numerous new observation towers that were built last month along the border with Lebanon.

Israeli military officials said in response they have been monitoring the security situation and that everything is “under control.” Moreover, the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) said that the watchtowers, built by the Lebanese Army, are there only to “spy on Israel” and will not fall into the hands of Hezbollah, an Iranian proxy group.

Meanwhile, the article dedicated to the anniversary of Israel’s pullout emphasized that the celebration of ‘Liberation Day’ was mixed with “heartbreak” for Hezbollah supporters due to the many casualties suffered in the Syrian civil war, which it called “a necessary tax that must be paid.”

It spoke with obvious frustration, some awe and perhaps fear as well, of the horrific battles being waged by Hezbollah (“the resistance”) against Da’esh (ISIS) in Syria.

“The resistance …. never experienced [war] against groups that imitate its methods and ways of warfare, but [who] instead of blowing themselves up against an Israeli convoy terrorize innocent people in the cities and villages, without batting an eyelash, as happened in the southern Dahiya or yesterday in Tartus and Jableh.

“The resistance never experienced war against groups fighting in caves and in the hills, mountains, wadis and even deserts, as happened at Tadmor and in the rural areas of Homs and Aleppo… Before [the war with Syria], the resistance did not storm cities and did not fight armies deep in the mountains.

“Before this, no one lay in wait for it in tunnels like the ones that only it used to excavate, and [the doctrine of which] it spread to the rest of the men of the resistance, particularly to the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip,” the unnamed Lebanese writer observed.

The comments publicly confirmed that it was Hezbollah who taught Hamas how to dig the cross-border terror tunnels it has been using for more than a decade in its war against Israel.

The writer concluded predicted that Hezbollah will become a “regional power” that “formulates new equations in the region. And yet the article also made it clear that the task will remain unfinished, at least in the eyes of Hezbollah, unless “the terrorists” (read: Da’esh) are annihilated.

“All these have been the unique characteristics of the resistance throughout the 16 years since May 25, 2000. All these [characteristics] and others will cause Hassan Nasrallah to declare that defending the achievement of liberation will end only with the defeat of the terrorists…”

Hana Levi Julian

Lebanese Military Court Accuses UNIFIL Worker of Collaborating With Israel

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015

A Lebanese judge has issued an indictment against an employee of the United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon (UNIFIL) on a charge of “collaborating with Israel.”

Lebanese Military Investigative Judge Riad Abou Ghida issued the order of indictment on Tuesday against UNIFIL employee Hani Matar. The judge also issued a similar indictment against Syrian national Ramez al-Sayyed and his wife, according to LBCEurope.

UNIFIL announced last month that one of its Lebanese employees had been transferred to Lebanese authorities after being accused of spying for Israel.

Although the charges were brought in Lebanon’s military court, Lt. Colonel Lila K. Chhetri, listed on the UNIFIL website as the agency’s senior military public information officer, declined to comment on the issue. JewishPress.com was unable to reach UNIFIL Public Information spokesperson Andrea Tenenti.

UNIFIL was created by the United Nations Security Council in March 1978 to “confirm Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon, restore international peace and security and assist the Lebanese government in restoring its effective authority in the area.”

The organization is also required to “accompany and support the Lebanese armed forces as they deploy throughout the south of Lebanon and extend its assistance to help ensure humanitarian access to civilian populations and the voluntary and safe return of displaced persons.”

In addition to that mandate, the Council tasked the Force with monitoring the cessation of hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah terrorists following the 2006 Second Lebanon War — a task that was to include preventing the terrorist group from rearming itself — at which it has failed spectacularly. Hezbollah has not only rearmed to levels nearly double those at which it began prior to the 2006 Second Lebanon War; the terrorist group has also integrated into the social fabric of its host country to the point that it has now become the second largest governing entity and military organization in Lebanon.

Hana Levi Julian

UN Panel to Probe UNIFIL Soldier’s Death in Lebanon

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

Another United Nations investigation is about to probe Israel’s involvement in a death among Arab attackers … uh, that is … the panel will probe the death of a UNIFIL soldier in Lebanon while Hezbollah was attacking Israel.

This will be the second such “independent” panel investigating Israel’s role in defending itself from attacks initiated against its citizens.

Currently the UN Human Rights Council is continuing its efforts to “investigate” claims that Israel Defense Forces committed crimes against humanity and war crimes in Gaza during the counter terror war to silence the incessant rocket fire being fired against Israeli civilians in the south.

Professor William Schabas was replaced this week with Mary McGowan Davis, a member of the team that produced the notorious Goldstone Report, after resigning his role as leader of the anti-Israel probe of Israel’s counter terror war against Gaza’s ruling Hamas group and allied terrorists. Although Schabas was known to have an open bias against Israel, it was still a surprise to many when he revealed in his resignation letter that he had actually worked as a consultant for the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in the past.

The “independent panel” to be appointed by the UN is specifically tasked with investigating the death of a soldier from Spain, a member of the UNIFIL contingent operating in southern Lebanon since November 2014.

Spain last week said it was Israeli artillery that was responsible for the death of its soldier, which took place during an exchange of gunfire that followed an attack launched by Hezbollah on an unprotected convoy traveling near the northern border in Israel.

The terrorists fired six Kornet anti-tank missiles at two unarmored jeeps and two civilian vehicles on Israel’s side of the border. The two army jeeps were incinerated instantly. Two soldiers died and seven others were wounded. One of the missiles went astray and struck a civilian home in the border town of Ghajar, destroying it as well.

UNIFIL was tasked with monitoring the ceasefire that ended the 2006 Second Lebanon War between Israel and Hezbollah and seeing to it that the terrorists did not receive any more arms, among other assignments. It has failed miserably at its assignment, perhaps deliberately. After all, it is easier to deal with disappointed Israelis than to face a deadly threat from Iran and Hezbollah terrorists.

Hezbollah thus now boasts of an arsenal of more than 100,00 lethal rockets and missiles of varying ranges which it has received from Syria and Iran, an array of ordnance any modern army could admire.

As a result, Hezbollah has a free hand in Lebanon. Last week the terror group launched its multi-prong attack on innocent northern Israeli civilians and soldiers traveling in a convoy; such attacks in the past have led to bitter wars. This one was clearly aimed at an attempt to kidnap at least one of the travelers if possible. What should Israel have done, if not defend its people and fire back at the source of missile fire?

When a UNIFIL soldier was hit in the crossfire after Hezbollah launched the attack, how does Israel become responsible for that death?

More to the point, what was a UNIFIL soldier doing in such close proximity to a Hezbollah position?

Methinks the lady doth protest too much….

Rachel Levy

Netanyahu Tells UN It Failed Its Own Policy to Disarm Hezbollah

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

The United Nations is at fault for failing to carry out its own resolution to disarm Hezbollah, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a phone call Sunday.

Resolution 1701 marked the end of the 34-day Second Lebanon War in 2006 and called on the United Nations to disarm “foreign armies” in Lebanon.

UNIFIL soldiers ignored the resolution from Day One, and Netanyahu raised the issue again Sunday while expressing sorrow for the death of a UNIFIL soldier by artillery fire from the IDF in response to the lethal Hezbollah attack last week that killed two Israeli soldiers.

Netanyahu also took the opportunity to point out that Hezbollah operates with Iran funding and policy direction and that Tehran is trying to escalate violence against Israel.

The Prime Minister’s accusation that UNIFIL is not “reporting on weapons smuggling into southern Lebanon” is nothing new, but the presence of Iranian Revolutionary Guards on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights and planning attacks against Israel is unprecedented.

Last week’s firing of an anti-tank rocket on IDF vehicles was the most serious attack since the war in 2006. The war ended in a military stalemate, in itself a victory for Hezbollah, which also benefited from Resolution 1701 negotiated on the Israeli side by then-Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni.

The United and UNIFIL immediately disclaimed any responsibility to disarm “foreign armies,” meaning Hezbollah, and tried to put the onus on Lebanon.

Government spokesman Mark Regev said at the time:

That resolution clearly calls for the creation of a Hezbollah-free zone south of the Litani River, and anything less would mean that the resolution is not being implemented.

Kofi Annan, who was Secretary-General of the United Nations in 2006, insisted, “The understanding was that it would be the Lebanese who would disarm [Hezbollah].”Obviously, if at some stage they need advice or some help from the international community and they were to approach us, we would consider it, but the troops are not going in there to disarm.”

A senior Lebanese official, Mohammed Chatah, said in 2006:

 Hezbollah individuals are people who live in the south and they will not leave their homes and villages, but an armed Hezbollah will not be in the south, pursuant to  Resolution 1701 that stated there will be “no weapons or authority in Lebanon other than that of the Lebanese state.”

That also did not happen because Hezbollah held the cards in the Lebanese government, which it now dominates.

It was clear that the resolution would not be enforced, just like the cease-fire resolution after Operation Cast Lead in December 2008-January 2009 was not honored.

The same Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni, negotiated both so-called cease-fires.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Canada Backs Israel’s Battle Against Hezbollah Terror

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird issued a strong statement of support for Israel Wednesday night, roundly condemning Hezbollah’s attack on the north after a recent trip to the Jewish State.

“Canada condemns the assault by Hezbollah on the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) that tragically killed two IDF members. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of those lost and injured,” Baird said, noting that the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon also suffered a loss as a result of Hezbollah terror.

“Canada also extends its condolences to the family and friends of the Spanish UN peacekeeper killed in the exchange.

“Hezbollah, another Iranian proxy, is a brutal terrorist organization bent on the destruction of Israel. Canada fully supports Israel’s right to defend itself by itself,” he said, criticizing the “destructive force” of Iran and directly accusing the Islamic Republic of intent to wipe out Israel.

“This is just another example of the threats Israel faces – from Gaza to Southern Lebanon and Syria – from all proxies funded, trained and materially supported by Iran. It illustrates the danger of a nuclear-armed Iran and the need for the international community to ensure that never becomes a reality.

“Iran is a destructive force in the region, contributing to much of the current instability. The international community must condemn today’s assault and stand by the only liberal democracy in the region, which is far too often on the front lines in the struggle against terrorism.”

Hana Levi Julian

Northern Golan Heights Declared Closed Military Zone

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

The GOC Northern Command on Wednesday evening declared Israel’s northern border in the Golan Heights along the boundary with Syria to be a closed military zone.

The area affected stretches from Kibbutz Dafna in the Upper Galilee to the Druze town of Mas’ade in the northern Golan Heights. Included in the region are Kibbutz Dan, the border village of Ghajar, the Banias, Fort Nimrod, Neve Ativ, Majdal Shams and Mount Hermon.

The military announcement comes after the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terror organization launched the most serious attack on northern Israel seen since the start of the Syrian civil war.

Two IDF soldiers were killed and six others were wounded, including two with serious injuries, in an afternoon-long battle between the IDF and Hezbollah guerrillas operating in southern Lebanon. In addition, a Spanish peacekeeper serving in the UNIFIL force since November 2014 was killed during the exchange of gunfire.

The IDF has confirmed that Hezbollah fired six Kornet anti-tank missiles at a convoy traveling in northern Israel, and not two as originally reported. Three hit the convoy; one hit a house in the Druze village of Ghajar, setting it afire.

The convoy was comprised of two IDF vehicles leading two civilian vehicles on a road returning from the area of Mount Dov. It appears that the goal of the attack – as in the 2006 cross-border raid that launched the Second Lebanon War – was to spark a military provocation that would be a distraction while Hezbollah terrorists abducted one or more IDF soldiers or Israeli civilians. Hezbollah also reportedly simultaneously directed a round of mortar shells at the area near Metullah and around Mount Hermon.

Because civilians were involved in the attack – as well as the two IDF vehicles that were incinerated when they were struck and the soldiers who were killed – the incident is being considered in a far more serious light.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu convened the Security Cabinet to discuss the ramifications of the attack and to decide how Israel should respond.

UNIFIL is meanwhile attempting to negotiate a resumption of the ceasefire that was arranged between the two sides to end the Second Lebanon War, and which was violated today (Jan. 28.)

Hana Levi Julian

UNIFIL Confirms ‘Rocket Fired From Lebanon First, Israel Retaliated’

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

The Spanish Ministry of Defense has confirmed that rockets were fired first from Lebanon, provoking Israel into a defensive attack.

“At the moment we are still looking into the causes of the event,” Andrea Tenenti, UNIFIL spokesman in Lebanon, told The Spain Report by telephone. “What I can say is that today there were rockets launched from Lebanon into Israel, and the Israeli forces began retaliatory fire. Major General Portolano (UNIFIL commander) was immediately in contact with both parties to prevent further escalation.”

Spanish Army Corporal Francisco Javier Soria Toledo, 36, was killed during the clash while on patrol for UNIFIL. The corporal, who was born in Andalusia, was married and assigned to a mechanized infantry regiment after enlisting in 2004. His unit has participated in UNIFIL in southern Lebanon since November 2014. The soldier’s position when he was killed was not released.

“We are not certain who fired the shots that killed him; that needs to be investigated,” said a spokesperson for the Spanish Ministry of Defense.

“We have troops positioned all along the Blue Line,” Tenenti added. “We are verifying the circumstances of this tragic incident.”

Spanish military sources reportedly told El Pais that it was an IDF mortar round that killed the UNIFIL soldier.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/unifil-confirms-rocket-fired-from-lebanon-first-israel-retaliated/2015/01/28/

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