UN Force Commander Confers With Lebanese, Israelis on Recent Incidents

NEW YORK–(ENEWSPF)–8 December 2009 – The military chief of United Nations peacekeepers in Lebanon today discussed with senior Lebanese and Israeli military officials recent incidents in the south, where Israel fought a 34-day war with Hizbollah in 2006.

UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) Commander Major General Claudio Graziano also reviewed the situation in the village of Ghajar, where Israel still occupies the northern part although it should have withdrawn in compliance with Security Council resolution 1701.

“We are hopeful that we will soon reach an understanding on the UNIFIL proposal that will facilitate Israel’s withdrawal from the northern part of the village of Ghajar,” he said afterwards.

Resolution 1701 expanded UNIFIL, which currently has nearly 13,000 military personnel, and called for an end to hostilities, respect for the so-called Blue Line separating the Israeli and Lebanese sides, disarming militias including Hizbollah, and an end to arms smuggling.

Hizbollah has not disarmed, and last month Special Coordinator for Lebanon Michael Williams said sporadic rocket launches into Israel, almost daily Israeli flights over Lebanon, the active maintenance of an arms depot by Hizbollah and the apparently Israeli surveillance equipment left on Lebanese territory raised the spectre of a potential escalation.