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After delay, UNIFIL renewed for another year

It came down to the wire for the U.N. peacekeeping force on the Israeli-Lebanese border.

UNIFIL Indian peacekeepers patrol roads in the mountainous areas of the southeastern tip of Lebanon, Jan. 10, 2020. Photo by Pasqual Gorriz/U.N.
UNIFIL Indian peacekeepers patrol roads in the mountainous areas of the southeastern tip of Lebanon, Jan. 10, 2020. Photo by Pasqual Gorriz/U.N.

A vote on Wednesday had fallen through, with the United Kingdom and the United States objecting to the terms, with UNIFIL’s freedom of movement as a sticking point. However, a compromise was reached on Thursday to renew the U.N. force on the Israeli-Lebanese border.

France reinserted language from last year’s mandate, which it had removed, affording UNIFIL “announced and unannounced patrols,” U.S. News & World Report reported.

“UNIFIL cannot carry out its peacekeeping responsibilities when Hezbollah ignores U.N. resolutions, strengthens its military presence in Southern Lebanon, prevents the Lebanese government from extending its authority over its entire territory and receives illegal arms from Iran,” stated the American Jewish Committee.

The AJC has repeatedly told António Guterres, U.N. secretary-general, that “Hezbollah remains the primary cause of the volatile situation between Israel and Lebanon,” the organization added.

Guterres is expected to visit Israel and the Palestinian Authority in the near future.

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