Hi, It’s Hillel Neuer from UN Watch. I’ve come here straight from the United Nations to witness what’s happening here at the Israeli border with Lebanon, ahead of tomorrow’s Security Council meeting on what’s just been discovered right behind me.
What you’re looking at are Israeli equipment that is finding one Hezbollah tunnel after another.
They’ve already found four—there may be more. As UNIFIL, the UN peacekeeping force in Southern Lebanon has found, these are flagrant violations of UN Security Council Resolution 1701, adopted in 2006, following that year’s Lebanon War.
What we’re seeing are tunnels, not like the tunnels in the south, which Hamas has dug from Gaza into Israel, which burrowed through sand, but these are very sophisticated tunnels funded, financed, orchestrated by Iran. They’re digging through heavy rock. They go as deep as 150 feet.
These are a very serious attempt by Hezbollah to penetrate into Israel, possibly to kidnap and attack Israeli civilians, possibly to capture Israeli territory.
From the perspective of international law, what the Security Council has to realize are three things.
This is a flagrant violation of the UN Security Council’s own resolution 1701, which UNIFIL ought to be enforcing.
A cross-border tunnel into Israel amounts to a threat to peace under the United Nations Charter. It’s a violation of Israel’s sovereignty.
And finally, this tunnel behind me comes from a civilian home. Hezbollah created the tunnel from a civilian home in Kfar Kila in Lebanon.
And what we’re talking about here is a war crime. It’s a war crime under international humanitarian law, under the Geneva Conventions, where civilians are used and abused by Hezbollah, to protect their military infrastructure and weapons, as they have done with 150,000 missiles and rockets embedded in civilian homes right behind me. This amounts to a flagrant war crime under the Geneva Conventions.
And tomorrow, Wednesday, when the Security Council meets on Lebanon, it must send a strong message Government of Lebanon, and to UNIFIL.
Both of these entities need to be enforcing UN Security Council Resolution 1701 in a concrete fashion, and put an end to these flagrant violations of international law, which are dangerous and destabilizing for this region, and threaten international peace and security.
United Nations Watch is a non-governmental organization based in Geneva, Switzerland, whose mandate is to monitor the performance of the United Nations by the yardstick of its own Charter.