240 Congresspeople to UN: Hezbollah threatens Israeli security

"As Republicans and Democrats, we are united in our concern about the continuing, serious violations of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701."

Iran's proxies, including Hezbollah, are empowered throughout the Middle East  (photo credit: REUTERS)
Iran's proxies, including Hezbollah, are empowered throughout the Middle East
(photo credit: REUTERS)
WASHINGTON – A majority of the House of Representatives lawmakers – over 240 from both parties – sent a letter to the United Nations Secretary-General on Monday urging him to enforce Security Council resolution 1701.
Four Congresspeople from both parties spearheaded the letter: Reps. Elaine Luria, Lee Zeldin, Haley Stevens and Michael Waltz.
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) thanked the four publicly on Twitter for “pressing [António Guterres] to address the threat to Israel from the terrorist organization Hezbollah in Lebanon.”
The letter calls on Guterres to lead an international effort to limit Hezbollah’s capabilities “and to avoid the devastating but avoidable outcome of which you have previously warned.”
“We fear significant civilian costs in Lebanon if Israel must act to defend its citizens because Hezbollah has positioned its massive arsenal in civilian areas – turning much of Lebanon’s population into human shields,” the letter continues. “Hezbollah will bear the responsibility for that, as will the Government of Lebanon and the international community.”
The group mentioned the terror organization’s ongoing efforts to attack Israel, including by digging underground tunnels that the IDF was able to find and destroy last year.
“As Republicans and Democrats, we are united in our concern about the continuing, serious violations of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701 and the resulting threat our ally Israel faces on its northern border,” the letter reads. “After 13 years, Lebanon’s attempts to implement this resolution have been unsuccessful. Instead, under the nose of UNIFIL and the international community, Hezbollah has built a murderous capability aimed at Israel’s civilian population.
“The United Nations Security Council spoke out clearly and unanimously by passing UNSCR 1701,” it continues. “In doing so, the international community committed itself to Lebanese sovereignty and Israeli security. Hezbollah’s military build-up threatens both. We believe Beirut must address the Hezbollah challenge on an urgent basis. Continued failure to do so weakens Lebanon’s relationship with the international community and increases the threats to the Lebanese People and Israel’s security.”
The group urged Guterres to assist Lebanon’s prime minister to “finally reclaim Lebanese sovereignty and implement all the terms of UNSCR 1701, including allowing UNIFIL to fulfill its mandate in southern Lebanon.
“At the same time, we request that you insist that UNIFIL fully implement its mandate despite pressure from Hezbollah. UNIFIL should accurately report on Hezbollah violations of UNSCR 1701 and work with the Government of Lebanon to remove Hezbollah’s weapons from the South,” the letter continues.
The Jerusalem Post reported in July that Israel and the United States are jointly working to have the United Nations Security Council upgrade the mandate of the international peacekeeping force based in southern Lebanon, providing it with greater authority to weaken Hezbollah.
Israel Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon told the Post that Israel is working with the US to upgrade UNIFIL’s mandate, explicitly to give it the ability to visit and inspect any area in southern Lebanon. Under the existing mandate, UNIFIL cannot enter villages and the urban regions unless it first coordinates such visits with the Lebanese Armed Forces.
The lawmakers also addressed the growing threat from Hezbollah’s missile arsenal.
“No country can tolerate a terrorist organization on its border, acquiring the capability to endanger its population. Israel has the right to defend itself and will have the full bipartisan support of the United States if it must act to protect its citizens,” it concludes.


Tags aipac UNIFIL