[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The Lebanese media outlet, Al-Akhbar claims that according to local sources; Israel and the USA are increasing the pressure UNIFIL towards intensive operations in South Lebanon.

How does this pan out?

The numbers of patrols conducted by the UN peacekeeping force have increased ever since “Operation Northern Shield “. The patrols on the border have extended from 12-14 before the operation, to 18-22 up until now.

The Americans asked UNIFIL forces to conduct new operations and inspections to limit the movement of Hezbollah. The US had also requested to add 10 patrols in the southeast and 5 in the southwest.

On the other hand . . .

UNIFIL commander Stephano Del Col is careful not to entice the people of southern Lebanon and taking careful steps in handling the tensions. In his latest statement, Del Col stated that UNIFIL will not enter private properties unannounced and without approval. Del Col is being careful due to the warm welcome he received when he was assigned to his role back in August 2018. The UN forces entered the allies of Majdal Zoun in August and were attacked by locals affiliated with Hezbollah who blocked them and confiscated their weapons.

This means de facto, that UNIFIL as always will not enter, not only homes, but also alleys, sideroads, fields, orchards, open areas and nature reserves, since the Lebanese define these as private properties – therefore, the ability to locate illegal weapons and activities under these restrictions remains an impossible task indeed. The UN must clearly define the role of UNIFIL and the restrictions of its activities, in order to be able to effectively secure South Lebanon from illegal weapons, something that it has thus far failed at.

*Photo from http://khiyam.com/news.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Avraham Levine

Avraham Levine

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