Tuesday, November 29, 2011

UN mission urges restraint after rocket fire from Lebanon into Israel

29 November 2011,
The United Nations has called for maximum restraint by all parties after last night's rocket firing from southern Lebanon into Israel.
No casualties have been reported from either side following the firing of at least one rocket shortly after midnight from the general area of Rumaysh, according to the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).

Israeli authorities indicated to UNIFIL that a number of rockets impacted in northern Israel. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) returned artillery fire directed at the location from where the rocket fire originated.

"This is a serious incident in violation of UN Security Council resolution 1701 and is clearly directed at undermining stability in the area," UNIFIL Force Commander Major-General Alberto Asarta Cuevas said in a press statement.

Resolution 1701 ended the month-long war between Israel and the Lebanon-based Hizbollah in 2006. It also calls for respect for the so-called Blue Line separating Israel and Lebanon, the disarming of all militias in Lebanon, and an end to arms smuggling in the area.

"It is imperative to identify and apprehend the perpetrators of this attack and we will spare no efforts to this end working in cooperation with the LAF [Lebanese Armed Forces]. Additional troops have been deployed on the ground and patrols have been intensified across our area of operations to prevent any further incidents."

UNIFIL, in cooperation with the parties, is currently investigating to determine the facts and circumstances of the incident as well as to locate the launching site of the rocket fire.

"At the same time, there is a need to act with restraint and the parties have reassured me of their continued commitment to maintain the cessation of hostilities in accordance with resolution 1701," said the Force Commander.

UNIFIL added that there has been no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

The Security Council is scheduled to discuss implementation of resolution 1701 in a closed-door meeting in New York later today.