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U.N. Security Council: Statement Condemns Hezbollah Violence, Denies Lebanese Claim to Shebaa Farms

(January 20, 2005)

The Security Council's report on the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) ... finds that, over the past six months, the Blue Line has enjoyed a prolonged period of relative quiet. The Secretary-General had hoped that this situation would present an opportunity for achieving progress towards the objective of bringing international peace and security to southern Lebanon. But, as has been demonstrated more than once over the past four years, and unfortunately again this month, significant periods of quiet along the Blue Line are often followed by several episodes of hostilities. Furthermore, while violent incidents were considerably fewer than during the previous reporting period, tensions between the parties did not at any point appreciably diminish. Hostile rhetoric remained the norm, and stability continued to be threatened, most dramatically by the incidents of January 9 and 17, 2005, but also by rogue acts and, for the first time, air incursions from both sides.

The resumption of military measures, for which Hezbollah took credit, asserting its claimed prerogative to resist Israeli occupation of Lebanese territory by force, was disturbing, the report says. The United Nations has made abundantly clear that no violations of the Blue Line are acceptable. The continually asserted position of the Government of Lebanon that the Blue Line is not valid in the Shab’a farms area is not compatible with Security Council resolutions. The Council has recognized the Blue Line as valid for purposes of confirming Israel’s withdrawal pursuant to resolution 425 (1978). The Government of Lebanon should heed the Council’s repeated calls for the parties to respect the Blue Line in its entirety.

The Security Council subsequently renewed the mandate of UNIFIL and condemned the violence along the Blue Line.

Sources: United Nations Security Council