Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Greatly Concerned by Rocket Attacks in Lebanon, Secretary-General Urges Maximum Restraint, Respect for Israeli-Lebanese Ceasefire Agreement

21 DECEMBER 2015

The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:
The Secretary-General is greatly concerned over yesterday's firing of rockets within the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon's (UNIFIL) area of operations from the area of Al-Hinniyah, in the vicinity of Tyr, towards Israel, which is a serious violation of resolution 1701 (2006).  The Secretary-General notes the retaliatory mortar attacks by the Israel Defense Forces in Lebanon in the area of Zibqin.  UNIFIL is investigating the circumstances of the incident in cooperation with the Lebanese Armed Forces and the Israel Defense Forces.
The Secretary-General condemns any and all violations of resolution 1701 (2006) and urges all concerned to exercise maximum restraint and cooperate with UNIFIL in order to prevent an escalation.  The parties must fully adhere to resolution 1701 (2006) and respect the cessation of hostilities.
The United Nations is committed to continuing to work with the parties to ensure that the calm that has prevailed in southern Lebanon continues to be sustained.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Rocket fire from southern Lebanon

20 December 2015
This evening shortly after 17:30 hrs, UNIFIL radars detected three rockets fired from the general area of Al Hinniyah in southern Lebanon towards Israel. The IDF informed UNIFIL that two rockets had impacted in northern Israel, and a third fell in the sea. 
The IDF retaliated with approximately eight rounds of 120mm mortar fire that impacted near Zibqin in southern Lebanon. At this time, no casualties have been reported from either side. There has been no immediate claim of responsibility for the rocket attack. 
UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major-General Luciano Portolano is maintaining close contact with the parties and has called for maximum restraint in order to prevent any escalation of the situation. 
Major-General Portolano said: "This is a serious incident in violation of UN Security Council resolution 1701 and is clearly directed at undermining stability in the area. It is imperative to identify and apprehend the perpetrators of this attack. Additional troops have been deployed on the ground and patrols have been intensified across our area of operations in coordination with the LAF to prevent any further incidents." 
He added: "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. At this time the situation along the Blue Line is calm." 
UNIFIL, in cooperation with the parties, has launched an investigation to determine the facts and circumstances of the incident as well as to locate the launching sites of the rocket fire.