Monday, May 13, 2013

The United Nations’ Hezbollah Protection Force

(FPM) The United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 1701 in August 2006, which brought about an end to the 34-day war between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon. The resolution called on the Lebanese government to “secure its borders and other entry points to prevent the entry in Lebanon without its consent of arms or related materiel” and authorized the peacekeepers of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (‘UNIFIL”) to assist the government of Lebanon to accomplish this objective “at its request.”

Resolution 1701 also required “disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon” except for “the Lebanese State.” The disarmament was intended to include Hezbollah.

In addition, UNIFIL was mandated to “assist the Lebanese armed forces in taking steps towards the establishment, between the Blue Line [the UN published border demarcation between Lebanon and Israel] and the Litani river, of an area free of any armed personnel, assets and weapons other than those of the Government of Lebanon and of UNIFIL deployed in this area.” UNIFIL was authorized to take all necessary action in areas of deployment of its forces to ensure that its area of operations is not utilized for hostile activities of any kind.

On its website, UNIFIL declared that “UNIFIL deals with all parties even-handedly and does not ignore any violations.”

UNIFIL is anything but even-handed. It has become instead the UN Hezbollah Protection Force. It focuses on alleged Israeli violations of Resolution 1701. However, it looks the other way as Hezbollah has built up, under UNIFIL’s nose in civilian areas within areas of UNIFIL’s deployment of its forces, a stockpile of many thousands of rockets supplied illegally by Iran and Syria.

Just last week, for example, UNIFIL condemned Israeli overflights in Lebanese airspace. It said that ” in the course of the past week, it has observed a higher number of Israeli air violations over Lebanese airspace. Israeli overflights are in violation of Lebanese sovereignty and of Security Council resolution 1701 (2006). We are aware of the concerns raised by the Lebanese Government in this regard. The UN Interim Force has lodged firm protests with the Israeli Defense Forces on this matter, asking them to cease the overflights.”