Lebanon asks UN Security Council to pressure Israel after ‘airspace violation’

Lebanese President Michel Aoun. (AFP)
Updated 11 February 2018
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Lebanon asks UN Security Council to pressure Israel after ‘airspace violation’

BEIRUT: Officials in Lebanon closely followed the recent military developments between Israel and Syria, and noted the fall of fragments from rockets used in the confrontation in the Bekaa and southern Lebanon areas.
President Michel Aoun consulted with Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri and Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who is outside Lebanon, about the position to be taken in this regard.
Lebanese Defense Minister Yacoub Sarraf called the UNIFIL commander, General Michael Perry, and conveyed to him “Lebanon’s rejection of the continuous Israeli violations that took place on Saturday in the form of mock raids carried out by Israeli warplanes above villages and towns in the south.”
Sarraf’s press office stressed “Lebanon’s rejection and condemnation of the use of Lebanese airspace by Israel to carry out its raids,” describing the incident as a “blatant violation of Lebanese sovereignty.”
The Lebanese Foreign Ministry in a statement condemned “the raids on Syria” and stressed the right of “legitimate self-defense against any Israeli aggression.” The statement added that “this aggressive policy practiced by Israel threatens stability in the region,” calling on “the countries concerned to rein in Israel to stop its aggression.”
It said: “Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil gave his instructions last Thursday to the Permanent Mission of Lebanon to the United Nations in New York to file a complaint with the Security Council against Israel, calling for the condemnation of Israel and warning it against using Lebanese airspace to launch attacks against Syria.”
In New York, Lebanon called on the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the Security Council to pressure Israel to immediately stop its violations of Lebanese airspace to launch airstrikes on Syrian territory.
“Israeli violations of Lebanese sovereignty are continuing by land, sea and air without any respect for international law or any consideration of Resolution 1701,” Lebanese Ambassador to the UN Amal Mudallali said in a complaint to the UN chief and the presidency of the UN Security Council.
Mudallali pointed out that Lebanon “had informed the Security Council in a previous complaint last year about Israel’s violation of Lebanese airspace in its raid on Syrian territory on Sept. 7, 2017,” asserting that these violations “paint a very dangerous pattern in addition to the patterns of daily violations of Lebanese sovereignty and constitute a new cycle of destabilization of regional security and peace by Israel.”
Mudallali reiterated Lebanon’s commitment to Resolution 1701 and called on the Security Council and the international community to “exert the necessary and effective pressure on Israel to ensure full compliance with the provisions of the resolution and its full implementation without delay, including the cessation of all violations of Lebanese airspace and sovereignty.”


Egypt extends state of emergency for another 3 months

Updated 4 min 11 sec ago
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Egypt extends state of emergency for another 3 months

CAIRO: Egypt has extended its state of emergency for another three months.
The government declared a state of emergency after a Daesh affiliate bombed two Coptic churches in April 2017, killing at least 44 people, and it has been renewed once before.
President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi’s latest renewal was published in the official gazette on Tuesday. Parliament is expected to approve it within seven days, and it has already taken effect.
Egypt has been battling militants for years, mainly in the restive northern Sinai, but the insurgency gained strength after the 2013 overthrow of an elected but divisive president. The militants have mainly targeted security forces and Christians.
In February, Egypt launched a massive nationwide security operation.