U.N. peacekeepers in Lebanon have been denied access to attack tunnels stretching into Israel, despite promises to the contrary after the subterranean terror routes were discovered.
By: Associated Press and United with Israel Staff
The United Nations’ envoy to the Mideast said Tuesday that peacekeepers in Lebanon have not been given access to tunnels stretching into Israel, which violate a case-fire resolution that ended a devastating war between Israel and Hezbollah in 2006.
Nikolay Mladenov told the Security Council that the U.N. peacekeeping mission known as UNIFIL has confirmed that two terror tunnels crossed the U.N.-drawn Blue Line between Lebanon and Israel, but “has not been granted access to the confirmed entry points of a tunnel near Kfar Kila on the Lebanese side.”
U.S. deputy ambassador Jonathan Cohen blamed Lebanon’s government for blocking access to UNIFIL.
Cohen also noted that Hezbollah, an Iranian terror proxy, threatens international peace and security with the extensive tunneling exposed by Israel, which discovered six tunnels infiltrating its territory.
“We commend UNIFIL’s work to keep the Blue Line under control, but it is unacceptable that the Lebanese government has not yet given UNIFIL access to the tunnel entrance on their side of the Blue Line,” Cohen told the council.
Israeli Ambassador Danny Danon complained to the council that “the Lebanese army has taken no action in response, allowing Hezbollah to continue building these tunnels undisturbed.”
According to Danon, Iran funnels $7 billion to terror groups across the region, including $1 billion to Hezbollah, which has “grand plans to take over the Israeli Galilee” and invests millions in every tunnel.
Iran also gives $4 billion to the Syrian government, “hundreds of millions” to Iran’s proxies in Iraq, tens of millions to Houthi Shiite rebels in Yemen, $70 million to Palestinian Islamic Jihad and $50 million to Hamas, which controls Gaza, according to Israeli estimates.
Mladenov noted that Lebanon has been without a government for over eight months and called on all parties to resolve their differences so the country “can address the man pressing challenges it faces, including that of a struggling economy.”