UN Official: Hezbollah Violating Truce

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NEW YORK - A senior UN official told Security Council members that Hezbollah's breach of Resolution 1701 is behind increased tension along the border with Israel.

In a rare confirmation of Israeli claims, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Alain Le Roy said the weapons cache in an abandoned warehouse in a village near the border with Israel belonged to Hezbollah.

For reasons as yet unknown, the cache exploded last week in a blast that shook the surrounding area.

Le Roy also confirmed that Hezbollah operatives kept UNIFIL forces (UN peacekeeping troops) from investigating the incident.

The emergency closed-door meeting was in response to Israeli Ambassador Gabriela Shalev's letters to Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and Security Council President Ruhakana Rugunda.

Shalev wrote that Hezbollah "consistently obstructs the implementation of Resolution 1701 by building new military infrastructure south of the Litani River."

Israel's ambassador also cited Hezbollah's "violent" use of Lebanese villagers to obstruct the work of UNIFIL's forces.

"Such violations jeopardize the fragile stability along Israel's northern border and stand in contravention of UN Security Council Resolution 1701, in particular paragraph 8, which calls for 'full respect for the Blue Line by both parties.'"

With the exception of Libya, all 15 members of the Security Council agreed that the Lebanese-based Shiite group committed a serious violation of the cease-fire.

Sources: Haaretz, Ynet news

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