Gabi Ashkenazi: 'Israel's security will be guaranteed by its own defensive power'

'Israel will closely monitor implementation of renewed UNIFIL mandate,' Foreign Ministry says.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Gabi Ashkenazi
Gabi Ashkenazi
Kobi Richter/ TPS

Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi (Blue and White) responded to Friday's decision to extend the mandate of the United Nations security force, UNIFIL, in southern Lebanon.

"Israel thanks the United States for leading the political campaign that brought about a resolution to extend UNIFIL’s mandate, which includes provisions that will enable UNIFIL to fulfil its role in a more effective manner, even if room for improvement remains," Ashkenazi said. "I have been in contact with [US] State Secretary Pompeo and French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian to clarify the Israeli positions on this matter."

"The security incidents that have taken place along the northern border over the past several days clearly illustrate above all else the need for a strong and effective UNIFIL. The State of Israel’s security will be guaranteed by its own defensive and political power."

In a Friday statement, the Foreign Ministry said: "Today, the United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution to extend UNIFIL's mandate. Thanks to the political campaign led by the United States, and in close coordination with Israel, provisions which will enable UNIFIL to fulfill its role in a more effective manner were included in the resolution. The changes included in the resolution will serve to better expose the terrorist activities of Hezbollah in Lebanon, as well as its efforts to restrain and harm UNIFIL’s operations."

"The resolution includes a provision for the strengthening of the reporting mechanism, as well as a vehement condemnation of attempts to limit UNIFIL’s freedom of movement. It requires the UN Secretary-General to consolidate a detailed program, within two months, for the implementation of the report’s recommendations for the streamlining of UNIFIL, including the strengthening of the tripartite mechanism between UNIFIL, the IDF, and the Lebanese Armed Forces, and the institutionalization of the reporting mechanism for incidents in which violence is employed against UNIFIL soldiers.
"The resolution also condemns events of the past year in which Hezbollah breached UNSCR 1701, and issues a particularly scathing condemnation of incidents in which UNIFIL’s operations were disrupted. It also calls on the Lebanese government to quickly provide full access to suspicious sites north of the Blue Line.

"The true test now will lie in the readiness of the Lebanese government and UNIFIL to implement all of the requirements of the resolution. Israel will continue to closely monitor its practical implementation."