image Photo: Reuters

IDF: UNIFIL does not deter Hezbollah

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi is warning that Hezbollah is rapidly growing into a terror army that  effectively leaves the Lebanese government hollow of any influence in its own sovereign territory.

Speaking at an Exchange Ceremony of the Commanding Officer of the IDF Depth Corps, the Israeli military chief further insisted that the reluctant subjugation of Lebanese authorities under Hezbollah has consequently rendered United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701 “null and void.”

“Hezbollah is a clear example of an enemy that has taken control deep within their territory, which grows into a terror army that operates in Beirut, Baka and Southern Lebanon,” the IDF Chief of Staff said. “It relentlessly violates international agreements, including United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701.”

He also disclosed that as the Iranian-proxy expands, Hezbollah “is arming itself with precision weaponry to harm the state of Israel. The recent attempted terror attack at Mount Dov, an attempt that failed, clearly illustrates Hezbollah as a terrorist organization that operates under the indifference and irrelevance of the Lebanese government.”

Lt. Gen. Kochavi  charged that Hezbollah exhibits open disregard of UNSC 1701, which ended 34-day military conflict  in 2006 known in Israel as “The Second Lebanon War.” He also said that the Shi’ite militia actively hinders the UN Interim Forces in Lebanon (UNIFIL) from conducting their mandated missions effectively.

“Hezbollah increases its arsenal and capabilities in Southern Lebanon, in violation of the resolution that forbids non-governmental arms south of the Litani River, while preventing the ability of UNIFIL forces to supervise. In matters relating to security, there is no government in Lebanon. It subjugates itself to Hezbollah and allow it to render Resolution 1701 null and void,” he said.

According to Lt. Gen. Kochavi, “The mandate that UNIFIL was given to enforce the resolution is meaningless and does not deter Hezbollah nor the state of Lebanon. Moreover, the Lebanese government (disturbs) interferes in UNIFIL’s missions, and in the same way that there was inaction regarding the ammonium stores, they waver in the face the tens of thousands of rockets placed within residential houses, courtyards and streets of the village of southern Lebanon.”

General Kochavi further insisted that unless UNIFIL, which includes forces from numerous countries including Finland, India, Ireland, Ghana, Estonia, Brazil and South Korea (among others), is granted additional powers by significantly increasing their resources and authority – their actions will remain ineffective.

“UNIFIL’s actions are ineffective in their current capacity and the time has come to significantly increase their resources and authority. In tandem, it is mandatory to demand that the Lebanese government govern. To rule and control what is taking place in Lebanon as it relates to terrorism and arms,” warned the IDF Chief.