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Israel concerned UN Security Council may limit monitoring of Hezbollah’s military activity

UNIFIL forces patrol near the Lebanese border in the northern Israeli city of Metula, Feb. 16. 2008. (Photo: Hamad Almakt/Flash90)

The United Nations Security Council will be voting on whether to renew the mandate of UNIFIL, its peacekeeping force in Lebanon, at the end of the month.

However, Israel is concerned that the Security Council may limit the power of UNIFIL (the United Nations Interim Force) to monitor Hezbollah’s military activity against Israel on the border with Lebanon.

This concern comes after Lebanon has reportedly been advocating that the new mandate requires UNIFIL to coordinate its movements with the Lebanese Armed Forces.

Israel fears that requiring prior coordination will give Hezbollah knowledge of UNIFIL’s movements in advance, thereby impeding the peacekeeping force's ability to monitor Hezbollah’s military action against Israel, which could also potentially endanger its troops.

Before the UN Security Council (UNSC) meeting at the end of August, both Israeli and Lebanese delegations are expected to talk about the renewal of the mandate with members of the council. On Tuesday, the UNSC is scheduled to meet with representatives from the 48 states that make up UNIFIL’s 10,500-member force.

While the mandate is expected to be renewed, there are questions surrounding whether UNIFIL will be able to operate independently and without coordinating with the Lebanese army.

UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said that renewing the mandate is crucial.

“UNIFIL plays a critical role along the blue line and is a stabilizing factor between Israel and Lebanon,” he said. “Obviously as with any peacekeeping mission, the renewal of the mandate is in the hands of the Security Council.”

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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