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Tuesday 20th March 2018

Unifil Reveals More Cross-Border Tunnels in Lebanon

Counterterrorism & Security

7Dnews London

Wed, 20 Mar 2019 18:46 GMT

The head of Unifil, the UN’s peacekeeping mission in Lebanon, Major General Stefano Del Col, revealed before an open press conference held in the southern Lebanon city of Naqoura that violations on both sides of the Blue Line have been detected.

According to a National News Agency (NNA) report, he also pointed out Unifil’s documented proof of six cross-border underground tunnels in the area of Kfarkela that are in breach of the UN’s Lebanese-Israeli border demarcation, the Blue Line.

Last year, Unifil proved that such assault tunnels crossed into Israel and were therefore a violation of the UN resolution that ended the 2006 Second Lebanon War.

Del Col, as reported by NNA, reaffirmed that Israel's continued occupation of the hilltop village of Ghajar is in violation of resolution 1701.

Ghajar (Arabic for gypsy) is an Alawite-Arab village on the Hasbani River on the border between Lebanon and the Israeli-occupied portion of the Golan Heights, internationally considered to be de jure part of Syria.

In 1967, Israel conquered the Golan Heights from Syria and those Ghajar residents who remained later chose to accept Israeli citizenship when the territory was annexed in 1981. In 1982, when Israel occupied southern Lebanon, the village expanded into Lebanese territory.

Addressing violations, Del Col noted that some occur, especially in the fishing seasons, although they are processed quickly. Subsequently, he stressed the importance of working within the approved liaison mechanisms and tripartite meetings, which greatly limit the occurrence of violations and events on the ground.

Middle East