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Report

US Pressing for UNIFIL Mission Review for Israel’s Advantage

Sunday 12 August 2018
US Pressing for UNIFIL Mission Review for Israel’s Advantage

Alwaght- After the Second World War, a new world order came into existence with the foundation of the United Nations. The UN, founded to preserve the collective security and deal with challenges endangering the global peace, repel the crises across the world, including making efforts to stop the conflicts between the countries.

After the World War, the West Asia region has been one of the world’s hot spots, where war, insecurity, and crisis have been dominant features. The root cause is largely the foundation of the Israeli regime and the aggressive policies of Tel Aviv leaders against the regional nations.

Lebanon was one of the regional countries to which the UN sent peace-keeping forces. The mission to Lebanon followed the United Nations Security Council’s two resolutions, 425 and 426. The force, dubbed United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), was commissioned with supervising the implementation of the UN resolutions that called on the Israeli regime to stop its military actions against Lebanon and remove its forces from all of the Lebanese territories.

The UNIFIL is now in its fifth decade of operation on the Lebanese borders with the occupied Palestinian territories. It is now operating with a larger number of troops and in a wider area of coverage compared to the time of its foundation.

Over the past few days, Lebanon’s Al-Akhbar newspaper, citing “well-informed diplomatic resources,” reported that the American national security advisor John Bolton has recently started debates with other members of the UNSC to review the UNIFIL duties. The Lebanese daily added that Bolton eyes expansion of the covered area to include the eastern Lebanon borders with Syria. He also is pushing for the force to be granted the ability to carry out “intervention, deterrence and accountability missions.”

The plan, reportedly has been faced by France opposition, is very likely to be discussed at the August 10 UNSC meeting through a draft resolution by Washington. The US move raises some questions: What is the US goal behind the changes to UNIFIL mission? And what factors are causing the US to press for a review of the UN mission in Lebanon?

Last week, the Irish commander of the UNIFIL Major General Michael Beary was replaced with the Italian Major General Stefano Del Col after two years of service. Beary was under fire of some Lebanese sides who questioned his partiality in his mission to maintain the peace. He visited the Israeli regime to take part in a commemoration ceremony on the anniversary of the 1996 war against Lebanon during which the Israeli army carried out Qana village massacre in southern Lebanon.

The analysts suggest that since its foundation, the UN force was leaning to the Israeli side. When the Israeli regime launched a wide-ranging air, sea, and ground offensive against Lebanon in 1982, the UNIFIL units made no efforts for de-escalation of the Israeli offensive. The Israeli army, advancing quickly while facing no major resistance, moved close to the gates of the capital Beirut on short time and imposed an encirclement. In 2006, Tel Aviv afresh launched an aggression against Lebanon and if was not for Hezbollah resistance, the Israeli forces have had occupied Beirut.

The fact is that as long as the Western powers support Tel Aviv, neither UNIFIL nor any other international force in relation to the UNSC can pressure the Israeli regime to halt its hostilities against Lebanon. The plan to expand the powers and area of activity of the UNIFIL, which over time have proven they cannot deter the Israeli anti-Lebanon aggressions, thus is meant to block growing toehold of Hezbollah on the Syria-Lebanon border for the final aim of strengthening the Israeli security.

On June 20, the US approved $3.8 billion in military aid package to the Israeli regime. The sum is part of a decade-long $38 billion aid program to Tel Aviv which is said to be the largest in the history of the US help to a foreign party. The reports say that this aid comes in response to the Israeli leaders’ call on Washington to help guarantee the security of the occupied territories.

The US help comes amid fast-changing regional conditions. Under the new conditions, the Syrian government forces have recaptured much of the country’s territories from the grasp of the foreign-supported terrorist factions. The Syrian Arab Army, reclaiming lands from al-Qaeda-affiliated armed groups, for the first time since the 1974 ceasefire deal with the Israeli regime has managed to deploy forces on a large scale in the border area with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

Another development is the political victory of Hezbollah and its allies inside Lebanon. They won the majority of seats in the May 6 parliamentary election to look stronger than ever in the country’s politics. On the other side, stands Tel Aviv which, just against its imagination of seeing impairment of Hezbollah, finds itself the major loser of the crises in Iraq and Syria. Now, the Israeli leaders are rushing to find a way out of the fragile security conditions. Tel Aviv resorted to the US to prevent the Syrian forces and Hezbollah from entry to the southern Syria territories which share borders with the occupied Golan Heights. But it looks apparently unsuccessful as the two cleansed the area of terrorists which their presence on Golan Heights border offered the Israeli regime a buffer zone with the Syrian government. Now the last resort is UNIFIL. John Bolton hopes to press the UN so-called peace-keepers to play a role to preserve the Israeli security using international consensus. Bolton, seemingly, wants the UNIFIL to watch the Syria-Lebanon border and even, if possible, break Hezbollah’s links to Damascus.

During the 2006 Israeli aggression against Lebanon, John Bolton, the US envoy to the UN at the time, tried to dismiss the UNIFIL’s major role in maintaining the peace for the advantage of Tel Aviv. But now and after 12 years, he is lobbing for an international consensus to broaden the UNIFIL mandate to shield the Israeli regime against harms. But Paris, as media reports note, has come against the effort with one drive could be having 1,200 ground and marine troops in southern Lebanon. 

Tags :

Lebanon UNIFIL Israeli Regime UN John Bolton

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