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At Security Council, Israel Accuses Lebanese Army of Informing Hezbollah about Anti-Tunnel Operation

At the United Nations Security Council meeting discussing the terror tunnels that Hezbollah built from Lebanon into Israel, the country’s Ambassador to the UN accused the Lebanese army of tipping off Hezbollah about Israel’s operation to locate and destroy the tunnels, The Times of Israel reported [1] Wednesday.

“Israel gave UNIFIL precise information about the location of the tunnel,” Ambassador Danny Danon said at the Security Council meeting. “After UNIFIL told the Lebanese army, it was then stopped when it tried to reach the area. Sources within the Lebanese army informed Hezbollah about the information, which enabled the terrorist organization to conceal the tunnel’s operations and thwart Israel’s defensive actions.”

UNIFIL is the UN’s peacekeeping force that patrols the Israeli-Lebanese border.

The peacekeeping force has acknowledged that two of the tunnels cross from Lebanon into Israel, and confirmed [2] Israeli charges that they violate UN Security Council Resolution 1701 [3], which ended the 2006 war between Israel and the Iranian-backed terrorist group, Hezbollah.

Danon presented a photograph showing what he decribed as a “private compound” in the southern Lebanese village of Kfar Kila. The village is the source of one of the cross-border attack tunnels into Israel. Danon showed that the tunnel passed right by a UNIFIL observation post.

“Lebanese army officials are working for Hezbollah, while UNIFIL is not working to fulfill its mandate in the region in the necessary manner,” Israel’s ambassador charged.

The Associated Press reported that the UN’s Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix called the tunnels a “serious violation” of Resolution 1701. He also said that UNIFIL was “acting judiciously” with both sides to ensure that the tunnels are disabled.

While several council members — including Holland and Sweden — condemned the tunnels, the Security Council adjourned without taking any further action.

During the meeting, Rodney Hunter, Political Coordinator of the United States Mission to the United Nations, said [4], “the United States has taken Hezbollah’s threats to the security of Israel and the Israeli people at face value, and it is high time that this Council and the international community do so as well.” He added, “It is both regrettable and incomprehensible that some Council members dismiss the threat Hezbollah poses and its ability to act as a spoiler to this Council’s broader objective for peace between Israel and Lebanon.”

In a speech [5] before the Security Council meeting, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the tunnels an “act of war” against Israel, and called on the council “to designate Hezbollah, in its entirety, as a terrorist organization; to press for heightened sanctions against Hezbollah; to demand that Lebanon stop allowing its territory to be used as an act of aggression and its citizens to be used as pawns; to support Israel’s right to defend itself against Iranian-inspired and Iranian-conducted aggression.”

Prior to the meeting, Danon, in informal remarks — seen in the video below — accused the Lebanese army of “sending information” about the tunnels “straight to Hezbollah.”

[Photo: United Nations / YouTube ]