The United Nations has called on Israel to halt military air patrols over Lebanon amid heightened tensions after air raids on targets in Syria, a UN spokesman said Tuesday.
UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said that the UN Interim Force in Lebanon, UNIFIL, had protested after recording an increase in Israeli flights over Lebanon.
UNIFIL "says that in the course of the past week it has observed a higher number of Israeli air violations over Lebanese airspace," Nesirky told a briefing, the AFP news agency reported.
He added that the flights are a "violation of Lebanese sovereignty and of Security Council resolution 1701" which allowed for a ceasefire that ended Israel's military movement into southern Lebanon in 2006. The resolution, it should be recalled, also mandated disarmament of Hizbullah, which has increased its missile stockpile from 6000 to 60,000 since signing the resolution
"We are aware of the concerns raised by the Lebanese government in this regard. The UN interim force has lodged firm protests with the Israeli Defense Force on this matter asking them to cease the overflights," Nesirky said, according to AFP.
The two pre-dawn air raids in Syria by Israeli warplanes on Friday and Sunday targeted missiles destined for the Hizbullah Shiite terrorist organization, which Israeli officials believe would have later been used against Israel.