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April 4, 2013 10:54 pm

UN Peacekeepers Failing to Stop Hezbollah Arms, Says Israel’s National Security Advisor

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Hezbollah fighters.

Israel’s top national security advisor said that United Nations peacekeepers are failing to track Hezbollah arms in southern Lebanon.

“Under pressure, a multi-national force is like an umbrella that gets folded up on a rainy day,” Yaakov Amidror, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s national security adviser, said in a Tel Aviv University speech, Reuters reported.

The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) is a multi-national peacekeeping force established by the UN in the late 1970s to maintain peace in the region. Following the 2006 summer war between Hezbollah and Israel, its mission was beefed up to include “assisting the government of Lebanon to restoring authority in the area,” according to UNIFIL’s website.

Amidror also said that despite UNIFIL’s efforts, Hezbollah has continued to amass an arsenal of 60,000 rockets, including 5,000 long-range missiles capable of reaching Tel Aviv.

“Has Hezbollah avoided bringing any kind of rocket, missile or other arms into southern Lebanon because UNIFIL is there?” he said, according to Reuters.

While the northern border with Lebanon has remained largely quiet since the 2006 summer war, Israel is deeply concerned with Hezbollah gaining control of chemical weapons or other advanced weapons systems from Syria, amid the ongoing civil war there.

Hezbollah has recently come under increasing pressure both at home and abroad. The French government recently said that it would urge the European Union to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

Meanwhile, Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati resigned last month over infighting in his government between the pro-Hezbollah Shi’a Muslim bloc and the Western-supported Sunni Muslim bloc. Mikati, who was originally backed by Hezbollah, fell into disfavor with the group following tensions over Hezbollah’s support for embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Many Western-backed Sunni Muslims have sought to distance Lebanon from the fighting in Syria.

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  • jerry hersch

    “Many Western-backed Sunni Muslims have sought to distance Lebanon from the fighting in Syria”
    The fractured Sunni population is very diverse.The Sunnis areabout a quarter of Lebanons population vs about 35% Shia,4% Druze,3% Alawite and the remaining 33% largely Christian.
    The 1 million Sunnis are about half Palestinian.There are about 50,000 from Egypt who came as workers at the bottom rungs or as riviera relaxers at the top.There was an influx of 120,000 from the Arabian Peninsula who sought a milder social climate and business opportunity- an unknown number remain.To the mix add about 50,000 Bedouin villagers and 120,000 Kurds,30,000 pre-crisEs Syrians…and you end up with around 150,000 Sunnis who don’t fit those subsets.
    Each Sunnni group hasits own agenda and aspirations- not much of a cohesive group.
    Beyond that most of the anti-Christian actions and rhetoric have come from these groups-further isolating them.

  • jerry hersch

    Hezbollah will need a full arsenal if it is to hold for the two days necessary for Assad’s forces to shift and redeploy for control of the Syrian/Lebanese coast.Any build up of their arsenal it would seem would be to hold IDF ground forces by any means-including rockets. Therefore distance from the border is not a concern using such an arsenal against civilian targets would be counter productive to both tactics and strategy.