UNIFIL members beside a banner for Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah in south Lebanon .
(photo credit: REUTERS)
NEW YORK – The United Nations Security Council agreed Tuesday to renew the mandate of the UN interim forces in south Lebanon, known as UNIFIL.
The forces were originally put in place to implement the Security Council’s Resolution 1701, which passed in 2006 and was intended to resolve that summer’s war between Israel and Lebanon. It called for disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon, including Hezbollah, and also states that no armed forces other than the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon and the Lebanese army will be posted south of the Litani River.
The renewal states that UNIFIL will continue to consist of 11,000 inspectors and soldiers. Its budget amounts to $100 million a year.
“Hezbollah continues to build its terror infrastructures in South Lebanon and turns the villages in the region into terror centers,” Israel’s ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said in reaction to the decision. “Public institutions such as hospitals, schools and prayer houses turned into terror centers and weapons storage.”
“Ten years after the second Lebanon war, it’s time to take Hezbollah out of south Lebanon and implement Resolution 1701.”