As the UN Security Council will vote this summer on the renewal of the peacekeeping mandate deployed at the Lebanon-Israel border, the Hezbollah chief opposed a US request on Tuesday.
The head of the Lebanese Shiite movement in Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, on Tuesday, May 26, rejected a US request aimed at strengthening the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).
UNIFIL has been present in Lebanon since 1978 and has about 10,500 peacekeepers. Since 2006, it has monitored the Lebanese-Israeli border in coordination with the Lebanese army and monitored the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701, adopted after the war between Israel and Hezbollah.
Hassan Nasrallah spoke while the UN Security Council will vote this summer on the renewal of UNIFIL’s mandate. “The Americans are proposing, after an Israeli request, to change the nature of the UNIFIL mission,” Hassan Nasrallah said in an interview marking the 20 years since the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon. “Lebanon has refused to change UNIFIL’s mission, but Israel (…) wants it to have the right to seek private property and the United States puts pressure on Lebanon” in this file, Hassan Nasrallah continued.
In August 2019, the UN Security Council voted to extend UNIFIL’s mandate by one year. According to the US request, diplomats said, the resolution contained a clause asking the UN Secretary-General to assess the mission of UNIFIL and its members before June 1, 2020.
“Israel cannot impose conditions for Lebanon”
“We are not against the maintenance of UNIFIL” in Lebanon, Hassan Nasrallah assured, but confirms that “Israel cannot impose its conditions in Lebanon, not even hidden under an American mask”.
In early May, US ambassador to UN Kelly Craft said on Twitter that UNIFIL “was barred from fulfilling its mandate” and that Hezbollah “could arm itself and expand its operations threatened the Lebanese people”.
An incident occurred late Monday night in the southern village of Blida between Finnish peacekeepers and Lebanese villagers after a UNIFIL vehicle struck two cars and a motorcycle, the National Security Agency reported. information (ANI). Angry youths blocked the road and Finnish soldiers had to call on the Lebanese army to leave the area. On Tuesday, several surrounding villages accused the UNIFIL patrol in a statement “to enter and raid vineyards and private property”.