Israeli Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz welcomed the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General’s report which accused the Hezbollah terror organization of impeding the work of the UN’s peacekeeping force in Lebanon, a “growing danger presented by armed groups operating outside of the Lebanese government’s control” in violation of UN Resolution 1701.
Secretary-General António Guterres released a report on Wednesday regarding the implementation of UN Resolution 1701 in which he accused Hezbollah of posing a threat to the United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon (UNIFIL) peacekeeping mission on the Israel-Lebanon border, and called on the Lebanese government to disarm the terror organization.
Resolution 1701 was adopted by the UN’s Security Council and was intended to resolve the 2006 Second Lebanon War. It demands Hezbollah retreat northward to the Blue Line, and that the government of Lebanon and the UNIFIL deploy their forces in the south. Israel has repeatedly charged that Hezbollah violated the resolution on many occasions.
Katz stated that the report “reveals Hezbollah’s cynical use of UNIFIL’s area of operation to carry out acts of terror against Israel and to fortify its military infrastructure in southern Lebanon, in full violation of UN Security Council resolutions.”
The report documents several incidents in which Hezbollah clashed with UNIFIL troops and restricted their movement in southern Lebanon.
The report also refers to statements made by senior Hezbollah officials regarding their precision-guided missiles project and calls for the implementation of UN Security Council resolutions referring to the disarmament of Hezbollah.
Katz called on Guterres and the Security Council to “demand full implementation of all relevant Security Council resolutions on Lebanon and the disarmament of Hezbollah.”
“In addition, the United Nations must declare Hezbollah a terrorist organization due to its involvement in terror activities against Israel and other countries in the region,” he stated.
“Hezbollah and its Iranian patron have taken Lebanon hostage. Their actions endanger stability and peace,” he charged.
“Israel is determined to prevent Iranian efforts to arm Hezbollah in a manner that threatens the citizens of Israel,” he stated ominously, reiterating Israeli threats to destroy Hezbollah’s Iran-backed project to upgrade its vast arsenal of rockets to precision-guided missiles.
In September, Israel conveyed a stern warning to the Lebanese government through Germany that if it does not restrain Hezbollah, “all of Lebanon will suffer the consequences.”
Katz made it clear that Israel “has no desire to escalate the situation but is nevertheless prepared to continue to respond forcefully to any attack against it and holds Lebanon solely responsible for this.”