UN chief condemns Hezbollah, but also Israel

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday condemned Hezbollah for attacking IDF troops near the Lebanon-Israel border a day earlier, but also criticized Israel for retaliating.

In a statement, Ban said he “condemned yesterday’s attack against two Israel Defense Forces vehicles in the general area of the Shebaa Farms south of the Blue Line, which was claimed by Hezbollah.”

But in the same breath he also said he “expresses his concern at the retaliatory strikes by the Israel Defense Forces across the Blue Line in southern Lebanon, in the area of operations of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).”

The so-called ‘Blue Line,’ or Line of Withdrawal, was established in the year 2000 to confirm the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanon in conformity with a Security Council resolution.

“UNIFIL is investigating the circumstances of the incident in cooperation with the Lebanese Armed Forces and the Israel Defense Forces,” added the statement, noting that Ban “calls on all parties to maintain the cessation of hostilities and to ensure full respect for Security Council resolution 1701, which imposed a ceasefire and the Israeli-Hezbollah war of 2006.”

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, filed an official complaint with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the UN Security Council following the border incident.

“This is a blatant violation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1701,” Danon charged, adding that “the UN must condemn the terror attacks against Israel and demand Lebanon stop all terrorist activity coming from its territory.”

Danon stressed that Israel will not accept an attack on its sovereignty and will act on all fronts against those who us violence against it.

UNIFIL later urged Israel and Lebanon to “exercise utmost restraint” following the incident.