NEW YORK—The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) said Hezbollah tunnels dug from southern Lebanon into northern Israel constitute a violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701.
“Based on UNIFIL’s independent assessment, UNIFIL has so far confirmed the existence of four tunnels close to the Blue Line in northern Israel… UNIFIL at this stage can confirm that two of the tunnels cross the Blue Line. These constitute violations of UN Security Council resolution 1701,’’ a statement said.
The statement continued: “UNIFIL has requested the Lebanese authorities to ensure urgent follow-up actions in accordance with the responsibilities of the Government of Lebanon pursuant to Resolution 1701”.
The Resolution 1701, approved by the UN Security Council in August 2006, called for the full cessation of hostilities and respect for the Blue Line, which demarcates the Israeli-Lebanese border.
Violations of the border were first announced by the Israel Defence Force (IDF) on 4 December as part of ‘Operation Northern Shield’. The IDF revealed the existence of a fourth tunnel on Sunday.
According to Israeli press reports, Russia has asked the Lebanese government to address the Hezbollah tunnels issue and prevent instability on the Israel-Lebanon border.