The United Nations Security Council has strongly condemned harassment, intimidation, attacks, and restrictions against the its peacekeeping forces in southern Lebanon.
It also called on Lebanese authorities to accelerate the deployment of ground and naval forces to the area bordering Israel.
A resolution, which extends the mandate of the peacekeeping force, known as UNIFIL, until Aug. 31, 2023, stresses again the importance of all parties respecting the Blue Line drawn by the United Nations between Lebanon and Israel.
It expresses concern at the recent installation of “containers” along the line restricting the U.N. forces’ access and visibility and at the UNIFIL’s inability to visit areas north of the line related to tunnels that Israel said it discovered in late 2018.
Israel has repeatedly accused Hezbollah of impeding UNIFIL peacekeepers from carrying out their mandate.
UNIFIL was created to oversee the withdrawal of Israeli troops from southern Lebanon after their 1978 invasion of Lebanese territories.
The mission was expanded after the 2006 war so peacekeepers could deploy along the Lebanon-Israel border to help Lebanese troops extend their authority into their country’s south for the first time in decades.
That resolution also called for a full cessation of Israeli-Hezbollah hostilities, which has not happened.
The resolution has now condemned “in the strongest terms all attempts to restrict the freedom of movement of UNIFIL’s personnel, all acts of harassment and intimidation, and all attacks against peacekeepers,” including attacks from 2018 through January 2022.
It reiterated that the status of forces agreement between Lebanon and the United Nations gives UNIFIL peacekeepers the authority to carry out their mission without prior authorization or permission.