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Israel to UN: Hezbollah violated Resolution 1701 and built border observation posts

Fighters of the Lebanese movement Hezbollah in Beirut on 15 February 2022 [ANWAR AMRO/AFP/Getty Images]
Fighters of the Lebanese movement Hezbollah in Beirut on 15 February 2022 [ANWAR AMRO/AFP/Getty Images]

Israel considers that Hezbollah's building of observation posts on the border in southern Lebanon a violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701, issued at the end of the Second Lebanon War in 2006. An Israeli delegation, which included representatives of the army, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its embassy in the UN presented to the UN headquarters in New York and delegates from the US and France, documents and pictures of new posts set up by Hezbollah at the border, according to reports from Israel's Haaretz newspaper today.

Israel claims that Hezbollah has set up 16 new posts on the border since last April, placing containers in them, at first, and then bringing watchtowers to them. The newspaper mentioned a post set up by Hezbollah in front of the town of Duviv in the Upper Galilee, where there is a watchtower, a container and a number of cars. As soon as they spotted activity on the Israeli side, close to the site, Hezbollah operatives arrived quickly in order to film and show their presence.

Israel reiterated that Hezbollah's positions on the border operate under the cover of the Green Without Borders organisation to protect the environment, and that the Israeli army monitors the continuous activity of Hezbollah members there. According to the newspaper, "It seems that the organisations use them to observe and gather intelligence on what is happening on the Israeli side of the border. They also have a secondary purpose – creating a certain amount of deterrence against the IDF and the Israeli residents near the northern border, as well as keeping the United Nations forces, UNIFIL, from places that Hezbollah has taken over."

The newspaper added that the establishment of the new posts "reflects what looks to be Hezbollah's growing self-confidence, alongside the transfer of thousands of fighters from its elite Radwan force to southern Lebanon after the organisation reduced its involvement in Syria as the war there began to fade at the end of 2018." The newspaper noted that, during this same period, "Israel also exposed and destroyed six tunnels Hezbollah had dug under the border and into Israeli territory. It seems they were intended for use during wartime, to move troops through them."

The newspaper considered the establishment of the new posts on the border "a method to sort of bypass Resolution 1701," which had prohibited armed Hezbollah activity in Southern Lebanon and tasked UNIFIL to enforce the Resolution.

According to information provided by Israel to the UN and representatives of the US and France, Hezbollah operatives have been moving frequently in civilian clothes along the border for many years. "UNIFIL makes do with patrol missions and occasional monitoring, but tries to avoid confronting Hezbollah forces directly, mostly with the excuse that the suspicious activity is conducted on private property and that it does not have the authority to enter and search there."

READ: Hezbollah, Hamas leaders hold talks in Beirut

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International OrganisationsIsraelLebanonMiddle EastNewsUN
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