UN chief fears Israel-Hizballah war in near future

Sunday, July 04, 2010 |  Israel Today Staff  

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday warned that Israel and the Lebanese terrorist militia Hizballah may go to war again in the very near future.

In a review of UN Security Council Resolution 1701 that brought an end to the 2006 Second Lebanon War, Ban highlighted recent accusations that Hizballah has acquired a large supply of new missiles that are now aimed at Israel.

"Amidst allegations of continued arms transfers to Hezbollah... a perceptible increase in tension between the parties was recorded," wrote Ban. "This raised the specter of a miscalculation by either party leading to a resumption of hostilities, with potentially devastating consequences for Lebanon and the region."

Resolution 1701 called for the disarming of Hizballah, which Lebanon has refused to do, and increased the number of UN peacekeepers in southern Lebanon to 13,000 with the expressed intent of halting arms shipments to the terror group.

Israeli officials have been saying for years that the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) is simply not doing its job, either out of fear or indifference, and that Hizballah today is militarily stronger than it was before the 2006 war.

Just last month, UNIFIL commander Maj.-Gen. Alberto Asarta Cuevas told The Jerusalem Post that his force had found no evidence of Hizballah military activity or arms smuggling in southern Lebanon. But a series of attacks on UNIFIL patrols at the weekend may point to Cuevas being influenced by fear of retaliatory action by Hizballah.

On Saturday, a UNIFIL patrol that tried to enter a Hizballah-aligned village in southern Lebanon was surrounded and attacked by locals. Two vehicles were badly damaged, and the patrol's commander had his weapon snatched. A contingent of Lebanese soldiers later arrived and retrieved the weapon, but the UNIFIL force was not allowed to enter and inspect the village.

A similar attack took place in another village at around the same time, also denying UNIFIL troops the ability to inspect the community for Hizballah activity.

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