BEIRUT: The Lebanese Army gave UNIFIL little notice that Hezbollah would be holding a media tour near the south Lebanon border with Israel on Thursday, the international peacekeeper’s media office said Friday.
“Slightly before the media delegation arrived to the area yesterday (Thursday) morning, the Lebanese Army informed UNIFIL that there was a media tour along the Blue Line,” a UNIFIL statement carried by the National News Agency said.
On Thursday, Hezbollah conducted a media tour of the south Lebanon border village of Labbouneh and neighboring regions in a move that was met with criticism from several local parties.
UNIFIL is the U.N. peacekeeping mission overseeing the implementation of Resolution 1701, which ended the 2006 Israeli war against Lebanon. The resolution calls for an immediate end of hostilities, the deployment of the Lebanese Army and establishment of a weapons-free zone south of the Litani River. It also bans any armed non-Lebanese state or UNIFIL presence south of the Litani River.
UNIFIL said that media reports of “armed personnel” accompanying the group organizing the tour would constitute a violation of the resolution if proven true.
It added that Lebanese authorities were responsible for guaranteeing that “no unauthorized armed personnel, assets or weapons” are situated in the area between the Blue Line and Litani River.
The Blue Line is the disputed border line between Lebanon and Israel.
UNIFIL is currently looking into the matter with the Lebanese Army.