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UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon says attacks against civilians are ‘war crimes’

February 15, 2024 at 3:46 pm

The United Nations (UN) Interim Force in Lebanon patrol the area following the Israeli strike targeted in the town of Houla, Kafr Kila and Talloussa in Nabatieh Governorate, Lebanon on January 21, 2024. [Ramiz Dallah – Anadolu Agency]

The UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) said today that attacks against civilians constitute “war crimes,” Anadolu has reported.

“Attacks targeting civilians are violations of international law and constitute war crimes. The devastation, loss of life, and injuries witnessed are deeply concerning,” UNIFIL spokesperson Andrea Tenenti said in statements carried by Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency. “We urge all parties involved to halt hostilities immediately to prevent further escalation.”

The UNIFIL spokesperson called for intensifying diplomatic efforts “to restore stability and safeguard the safety of civilians residing near the Blue Line.” This is the line set by the UN for the withdrawal of the Israeli forces from Lebanon in 2000. “UNIFIL continues to be fully engaged with the parties to decrease tensions,” added Tenenti.

His comments come as the Lebanese government said that it will file a complaint against Israel at the UN Security Council over Wednesday’s drone strike that killed seven people.

Tension has flared along the border between Lebanon and Israel amid intermittent exchanges of fire between Israeli forces and Hezbollah. They are the deadliest clashes since the two sides fought a full-scale war in 2006.

READ: Hezbollah pledges ‘appropriate response’ to Israel’s aggression