Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan on Monday sent intelligence material to the United Nations Security Council showing exactly how Hezbollah terrorists infiltrated Israel last month, showing the route they took to breach the border.
The timing of Erdan’s letter coincides with a discussion in the Security Council on whether to extend United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon mandate, which expires at the end of August. UNIFIL was expanded after the 2006 Second Lebanon War in order to help Lebanese troops extend their authority into their country’s southern region.
Most UN members want to extend the current mandate while Israel wants to strengthen UNIFIL’s power on the border. The U.S. is backing Israel, but is in the minority on the Security Council.
“The U.S. has long reiterated publicly and privately that the status quo in Lebanon is unacceptable,” U.S. Ambassador Kelly Craft said in a statement to The Associated Press. “Now is the time to empower UNIFIL, end the long complacency, and enable the mission to fully achieve what it was set out to accomplish.”
To underscore Israel’s argument, Erdan sent a photo showing the five operatives crossing from Lebanon to the area of Mount Dov via the border between the countries — contrary to Hezbollah secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah’s claim that they did not cross into Israel.
The Israeli army thwarted the attack and there were no Israeli casualties, but the incident prompted the IDF to reinforce troops in the North and remain on high alert for several days.
“Hezbollah’s terrorist operations, which violate Security Council resolutions, could lead to disaster and wreak havoc on Lebanon,” Erdan wrote. “The role of the UNIFIL force is to prevent these operations and to prevent Hezbollah from turning southern Lebanon into its own terrorist base.”
“If UNIFIL is unable to fulfill this mission, then its existence should be in doubt.”