Israel says Hezbollah set up Lebanon post under NGO guise

UN Resolution 1701 prohibits Hezbollah to conduct military activity in south Lebanon near the Israel border. (File/AFP)
Updated 22 October 2018
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Israel says Hezbollah set up Lebanon post under NGO guise

  • Israel has relayed its concerns to the UN peacekeeping mission in Lebanon, and asked them to visit the positions

JERUSALEM: The Israeli military on Monday said it uncovered a militant outpost on the Lebanese border that Hezbollah guerrillas have set up under the guise of an environmental advocacy group.
A senior officer from the military’s Northern Command told reporters that the new observation post in the village of Al-Adisa violates the United Nations resolution that ended the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war and bars militant activity in southern Lebanon. He said Hezbollah is using a tree-planting campaign by the “Green Without Borders” association as a cover for its activity along the border to gather intelligence on Israeli troops.
The Lebanese non-governmental organization has acknowledged its affiliation with the militant group but claims its purpose on the border is purely environmental.
The Israeli officer, speaking on condition of anonymity under military guidelines, said the army discovered five other Hezbollah posts in 2017, in breach of the UN agreement.
“We haven’t seen any Hezbollah arms yet, but we can see military infrastructure and it’s clear this is part of extensive activity in south Lebanon and in Lebanon in general that is a threat to the IDF and to Israel,” the officer said, referring to the Israeli Defense Forces. “This is of course a buildup that we cannot tolerate.”
The Israeli military on Monday released photos of what it said were the Hezbollah observation posts. One photo showed a uniformed man peering through a window with high-tech binoculars.
Andrea Tenenti, a spokesman for the UN peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon, said UNIFIL has “not observed any unauthorized armed persons” at the position and “continues to monitor activities closely,” including those of the environmental group.
The Israeli-Lebanon border, though tense, has been mostly quiet in recent years under UN supervision.
Israel and Hezbollah fought a devastating monthlong war in 2006, which ended in a stalemate.
Since then, Hezbollah has amassed an arsenal that is believed to include well over 100,000 missiles and rockets aimed at Israel.


UN Security Council approves Hodeidah ceasefire monitoring force in Yemen

Updated 16 January 2019
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UN Security Council approves Hodeidah ceasefire monitoring force in Yemen

  • Deployment will be known as the United Nations Mission to support the Hodeidah Agreement
  • Resolution requests the larger force to be deployed expeditiously

NEW YORK: The UN Security Council on Tuesday unanimously authorized the deployment of up to 75 observers to Yemen's port city of Hodeidah for six months to monitor a ceasefire.

The Security Council last month authorized an advance monitoring team led by retired Dutch General Patrick Cammaert and asked UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to recommended a larger operation.

The initial deployment came after a deal reached during talks in Sweden between the Iran-backed Houthi militants and the internationally recognized government. The UN says the ceasefire that went into force on Dec.18 in Hodeida has been generally holding, but there have been delays in the redeployment of Hothi and some government forces from the city.

The British-drafted resolution adopted on Wednesday asks Guterres to "expeditiously" deploy his recommended larger operation, which will be known as the United Nations Mission to support the Hodeidah Agreement (UNMHA).
The resolution also "requests Member States, particularly neighboring States, to support the United Nations as required for the implementation of UNMHA's mandate."
Guterres described the mission as a "nimble presence" that will report on violations in Hodeida, which for months was the front line in the war after pro-government forces launched an offensive to capture it in June.

Hodeidah is the entry point for most of Yemen's commercial goods and aid supplies, and a lifeline for millions of Yemenis on the verge of starvation.