IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi said on Tuesday that Hezbollah “has become a terror army operating in Beirut,” preventing UNIFIL, the U.N. peacekeeping force in Lebanon, from fulfilling its mandate.

“Hezbollah is accumulating weapons and preventing supervision by UNIFIL forces,” said Kochavi. “Hezbollah is grossly violating international law, continues to grow in strength, arms itself with precision weapons and tries to harm the State of Israel,” he added.

Kochavi’s remarks come ahead of a U.N. Security Council vote on Aug. 31 to renew UNIFIL’s mandate. Israel, backed by the United States, has been pushing for the peacekeeping force’s effectiveness to be increased.

The United States is threatening to veto a resolution to extend the peacekeeping mission if its mandate is not changed, ​Axios ​reported on Aug. 12, citing Israeli and U.S. officials.

The Trump administration says Hezbollah is restricting UNIFIL’s access and movements, and has been demanding greater freedom of movement for the U.N. force, as well as upgraded weapons, as recommended by U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres, as well as a greater presence on the Israeli-Lebanese border, according to the report.

“Hezbollah openly flaunts its weaponry” and “dictates to UNIFIL where and when it can patrol,” said U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft in an address to the UNSC on May 4.

If the U.N. Security Council does not extend UNIFIL’s mandate at the end of August, the peacekeeping mission will end immediately.

Support Jewish Journalism
with 2020 Vision

One of the most intriguing stories of the sudden Coronavirus crisis is the role of the internet. With individuals forced into home quarantine, most are turning further online for information, education and social interaction.

JNS's influence and readership are growing exponentially, and our positioning sets us apart. Most Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas. JNS is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

During this crisis, JNS continues working overtime. We are being relied upon to tell the story of this crisis as it affects Israel and the global Jewish community, and explain the extraordinary political developments taking place in parallel.

Our ability to thrive in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters. Monthly donations in particular go a long way in helping us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make during these challenging times. We thank you for your ongoing support and wish you blessings for good health and peace of mind.