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Israeli soldiers speak to UN peacekeepers (UNIFIL) near the border with Lebanon, in the town of Metu
Politics

UNIFIL to send special team to inspect Hezbollah tunnels into Israel – Arab-Israeli Conflict



Israeli soldiers speak to UN peacekeepers (UNIFIL) near the border with Lebanon, in the town of Metulla, northern Israel December 4, 2018.
(photo credit: RONEN ZVULUN / REUTERS)

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The United Nations peace keeping force UNIFIL announced Thursday that it will be sending a special team to Israel on Thursday to inspect the situation on the northern border, after UN and European Union officials denounced the Hezbollah attack tunnels into Israel.

“The building of tunnels from one country to another for military purposes is wholly unacceptable,” Stephen Dujarric, the spokesperson for UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres told reporters in New York on Wednesday.

He spoke after Israel launched a military operation on its side of the Lebanese border this week, to destroy attack tunnels, which the terrorist group Hezbollah in Lebanon had dug into Israeli territory.

Dujarric added that the “UN will be sending a military delegation from United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) tomorrow  to meet with the IDF to get some facts.”

The UN Spokesperson’s Twitter account later commented that tunnels built underground by Hezbollah into Israel were considered a territorial violation.

“The Blue Line extends underground,” the spokesperson wrote in response to a question about where construction of the tunnel violated the demarcation line, otherwise known as the blue line, between Israel and Lebanon.

A report by Guterres to the UN Security Council about violations to Resolution 1701 which set out the cease fire terms that ended the Second Lebanon War in 2006, did not contain any information on tunnels by Hezbollah into Israel.

An international peacekeeping force, UNIFIL, monitors that border for violations of the agreement.

The European Union’s Ambassador to Israel Emanuele Giaufret also tweeted support for Israel’s operation to destroy the tunnels.

“Israel has the right to safeguard security of its citizens & territory. UNIFIL has key role to ensure stability, need full support to fulfill its mandate 2 maintain stability & prevent escalation,” he wrote.

The UN Security Council is expected to hold a meeting on the Hezbollah attack tunnels, but no date has been set so far.


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