NEW YORK – US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley met with UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Sigrid Kaag on Wednesday and discussed ways to advance the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1701, which ended the war between Israel and Hezbollah in 2006 and called for the disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon.During the meeting, Haley emphasized the need for the international community to “apply more pressure on Hezbollah to disarm and cease its destabilizing behavior, especially toward Israel.” She also expressed alarm over the buildup of weapons by Hezbollah, which she described as “a situation that demands the international community’s attention to prevent the further escalation of regional tensions.” Haley further noted the need for the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon to be fully engaged in addressing the threat posed by the terrorist organization. The UN Security Council was expected to hold consultations on Thursday about alleged violations of Resolution 1701 by both Hezbollah and Israel.
Hezbollah has been establishing observation posts under the guise of a NGO named “Green Without Borders” near the Blue Line between Lebanon and Israel since April. Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon had brought the issue to the UN’s attention last month, but the international body rejected the claims, which are based on IDF observations.On Tuesday, the army released additional footage of Hezbollah members gathering intelligence on Israel, saying that the Iran backed Lebanese group continues to use the NGO as a front for information gathering in order to harm Israel.“Hezbollah is gaining ground in southern Lebanon, and has even established a military infrastructure of rockets aimed at northern Israel, knowing that it is endangering the population [civilians in south Lebanon],” the IDF said, adding that the terrorist group “is able to maintain the secrecy of its intentions while avoiding UNIFIL criticism [because of] warnings from the Lebanese Army.
Hezbollah says future Israel war could draw more fighters than in 2006 (credit: REUTERS)