- UN Warns Ceasefire Violations Could Spark Lebanon-Israel War
by – Associated Press, https://www.washingtontimes.com/
UNITED NATIONS (AP) – The U.N. Security Council warned Thursday that violations of the cessation of hostilities between Israel and Lebanon in the latter country’s south “could lead to a new conflict that none of the parties or the region can afford.”
The council warning came in a French-sponsored resolution adopted unanimously that extends the mandate of the 10,500-strong U.N. peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon, known as UNIFIL, until Aug. 31, 2020.
It was approved days after an alleged Israeli drone crashed in a Hezbollahstronghold in southern Beirut and after Lebanese army gunners fired Wednesday at Israeli reconnaissance drones flying in Lebanese airspace, heightening tensions between the two countries.
The Security Council urged all parties to “exercise maximum calm and restraint and refrain from any action or rhetoric that could jeopardize the cessation of hostilities or destabilize the region.”
UNIFIL was originally created to oversee the withdrawal of Israeli troops after a 1978 invasion of Lebanon. The mission was expanded after a 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah militants so peacekeepers could deploy along the Lebanon–Israel border, to help Lebanese troops extend their authority into their country’s south for the first time in decades.