August 31, 2023 — New York
American Jewish Committee (AJC) issued a statement following the renewal today of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) by the UN Security Council.
The UN Security Council today renewed UNIFIL’s mandate for another year. But UNIFIL cannot carry out its peacekeeping responsibilities when Hezbollah ignores UN 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.
American Jewish Committee has repeatedly written to UN Secretary-General António Guterres, stressing that Hezbollah remains the primary cause of the volatile situation between Israel and Lebanon. Last month, in letters to the Secretary-General and members of the Security Council, AJC called attention to Hezbollah’s recent provocations along the Israeli-Lebanese border, urging the UN to take necessary steps to uphold its resolutions regarding Lebanon, including imposing sanctions on Hezbollah and its state sponsor Iran. We will do the same in our meetings next month with 60-plus world leaders on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
Hezbollah's provocations could cause significant escalation and loss of life. Israel has complied with Security Council resolutions, notably resolutions 425 (1978) and 1701 (2006) – the Israeli Air Force’s flights over Lebanon are necessitated by Hezbollah’s pledge to destroy Israel, the Lebanese government’s failure to rein in this terrorist organization, and the Iranian regime’s continuing efforts to provide it with more sophisticated weapons.
Hezbollah, which is operating from Lebanese territory, must comply, too. The Security Council must send a clear message that violations of its resolutions will not be tolerated.