In case you missed it, a UN peacekeeping force announced Wednesday that it has found no evidence of illegal weapons transfers and stockpiling in Hezbollah-controlled South Lebanon. Meanwhile, Hezbollah has been publicly boasting about its illegal weapons stockpile.
AP reports that Maj. Gen. Michael Beary, head of UN force, is "pushing back after U.S. and Israeli criticism of the mission." AP expands:
U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said in a statement coinciding with Wednesday’s closed U.N. Security Council consultations on the force, known as UNIFIL, that Hezbollah openly boasts about its illegal weapons stockpile and publicly threatens the destruction of neighboring Israel.
“The Security Council cannot adopt a business-as-usual approach when so much is at stake,” she said. “We call on the members of the Security Council to join us in taking real action to make UNIFIL a stronger peacekeeping mission and to stand up against forces of terror in Lebanon and around the region.”
But France’s deputy U.N. ambassador Anne Guegen, whose country is in charge of drafting the council resolution renewing the mandate, told reporters that “it is of paramount importance for the stability of Lebanon and the region, and in the best interest of all, that UNIFIL keeps its mandate and is in a position to fulfill it, with the full backing and confidence of the Security Council.”
“Though the situation has remained generally calm in the south, it is also still very fragile and volatile,” she said, and all parties must uphold their commitment to a 2004 Security Council resolution ordering all Lebanese militias, including Hezbollah, to disarm and calling for the Lebanese army to extend its authority throughout the south.
Beary, the Irish commander who leads UNIFIL, said it has successfully maintained the peace for more than a decade, and prevented major “misunderstandings” from erupting between Israel and Hezbollah.
He calls what they're doing "maintaining the peace?"
To his credit, Israel’s Ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon blasted UNIFIL, stating, "If Hezbollah is able to turn civilian border towns into terrorist outposts and increase their hostile activities along our border — all while UNIFIL is stationed nearby — then it should be obvious to the Security Council that significant changes are needed in the mandate."