The UN Security Council voted Thursday, august 29th, to renew its peacekeeping mission in Lebanon for a year, warning against a “new conflict” with Israel amid tensions with the Hezbollah group which are at their peak.
The resolution that was drafted by France and approved unanimously would allow approximately 10 000 members of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) to remain in place. It also calls for a re-examination of the peacekeeping mission while Israel is concerned that Hezbollah and Lebanon “continue to significantly impede the full implementation and effectiveness” of the mandate of the blue helmets. “If these restrictions persist, the relevance of UNIFIL is called into question,” said the Israeli Foreign Ministry.
According to the text of the draft, the Council warns that “violations of the cessation of hostilities are likely to lead to a new conflict that no part of the region can afford”. It “condemns all the violations of the Blue Line” separating Lebanon and Israel, “air and ground and strongly calls all parties to respect the cessation of hostilities”.
Lebanon welcomes the renewal
On the Lebanese side, President Michel Aoun said he was relieved the day after the renewal of the mandate of the UNIFIL, thanking “friend countries, and particularly France”. According to the Twitter account of the presidency, the head of state said he was “relieved, especially that the renewal decision was made without changes in the mission, the budget or the number of military forces, as was asked by Lebanon”.
He explained further that “the renewal decision underlines the commitment of the international community to preserve stability on the southern border, in the face of the Israeli violations it condemns,” said President Aoun.