Hizbullah's Campaign Against UNIFIL

(Washington Institute for Near East Policy) Brig.-Gen. (res.) Assaf Orion - Southern Lebanon is Hizbullah's main area of military deployment against Israel. Its current arsenal is estimated to include 130,000 rockets, attack drones, coast-to-sea missiles, and surface-to-air missiles. This firepower, exceeding that of most states, is augmented by offensive infantry units. The UNIFIL mandate is to help the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) become the only military force south of the Litani River. Yet UN reports describe numerous incidents in which UNIFIL suffered restrictions of its movement or violence against its troops. In November 2018, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres reported that on August 4, "20 individuals in civilian clothes stopped a four-vehicle UNIFIL patrol in the village of Majdal Zun, allegedly because the peacekeepers were taking photographs. During the course of the incident, several individuals broke windows of the patrol vehicles with hammers, shot at two of the vehicles as they sought to disengage and poured gasoline on a vehicle, setting it ablaze." "Some individuals assaulted the peacekeepers, punching and beating the patrol commander with sticks as he attempted to mediate the situation and kicking and dragging another peacekeeper while he was on the ground. Individuals also pointed weapons at the UNIFIL personnel, including at close range, snatching their weapons or demanding that they be handed over." The writer served as head of the Strategic Division in the Planning Directorate of the IDF General Staff (2010-2015). He is currently a fellow at the Washington Institute and at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv.

2019-11-22 00:00:00

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