Israel demands Security Council strengthen UNIFIL's mandate

Erdan: There is no justification for having an ineffective force operate in territory which Hezbollah is using to arm itself.

Nitsan Keidar ,

Gilad Erdan
Gilad Erdan
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Following Tuesday night's shooting at an IDF force near the Lebanese border, Israel's ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, on Wednesday sent a letter to members of the Security Council demanding significant changes be made to UNIFIL's mandate to improve the UN force's ability to fully access and monitor areas in which Hezbollah operates.

Erdan's appeal comes as part of a diplomatic effort led by the United States and Israel to affect the Security Council's decision on renewing the mandate at the end of the month.

"There is no justification for having an ineffective force operate in territory in which Hezbollah is using to arm itself and turn southern Lebanon into a terrorist base. Only a significant change to UNIFIL's purpose and capabilities on the ground can justify its existence," Ambassador Erdan said.

Ambassador Erdan warned that Hezbollah's actions undermine stability in the region and will lead to devastating consequences. In addition, Erdan included a map of southern Lebanon that notes the areas where Hezbollah tunnels and missile launchers were discovered, as well as observation posts of "Green Without Borders", an NGO that Hezbollah uses as a front to observe IDF soldiers.

Israel also drew on data from UN Secretary-General reports that indicated that UNIFIL soldiers' access to these areas are also blocked.

Therefore, Israel has demonstrated to the Council a clear link between the areas where significant terrorist activity takes place and where UNIFIL's access is blocked.