Chalk up one more success for UN Peacekeeping

The British newspaper The Guardian has this article published today: “Suspicion of UN troops grows in south Lebanon”, by Clancy Chassay in Maroun al-Ras —
“Six months after a UN-brokered ceasefire ended Israel’s war with Hizbullah, scepticism about the role of 10,000 UN troops is growing in south Lebanon amid signs that the militant Shia group is retraining and re-equipping its forces. The international force, deployed to keep the peace and support the expansion of the Lebanese army’s authority over the previously Hizbullah-controlled south, is perceived by villagers to be favouring Israel. ‘They are not our guests any more’, said Hajj Ali, a revered Hizbullah fighter from the large southern town of Bint Jbeil, who limps from an injury sustained during the summer war. ‘If they continue to help the Israelis we will have to take action against them’. Many in the south suspect Israel is trying to create a buffer zone along the border on Lebanese land allegedly captured during the war and that the UN is assisting it, furthering the popular perception that the UN forces, UNIFIL, are in south Lebanon to protect Israel from Hizbullah. Hizbullah, Lebanon’s largest political party, is still part of the social fabric and continues military activities along the border … In the bomb-shattered village of Maroun al-Ras, overlooking the Lebanon Israeli border, 65-year-old farmer Mohammed Allawi was repairing damage to his house from Israeli shelling. He said many farmers were no longer able to tend their fields for fear of being shot by Israeli troops. ‘UNIFIL has not lifted a hand against Israel but only intervenes to protect the Israelis, why are they on our land and why have they brought so many tanks?’ Hussein, a relative from Bint Jbeil, said the French were particularly unpopular. Hostility towards Lebanon’s former colonial power can be found across the south. ‘Why are the French so aggressive?’ asked Mr Allawi’s wife, Fatmeh, ‘They come through the village at night in their big, noisy tanks, scaring the children. They never talk to us and we don’t know what they are doing’. Nevertheless, UNIFIL provides jobs and social services and plays a vital role in disposing of unexploded munitions … Hizbullah still dominates the south, its security men policing the Shia villages and its fighters patrolling the border, albeit with greater stealth than before. A senior UNIFIL official said operational bunkers had been found and that Hizbullah fighters had been seen on patrols. As the UN destroys Hizbullah’s military infrastructure, the threat of confrontation grows. The official, speaking off the record, said some areas controlled by the Lebanese army were off limits to the UN. Hajj Ali said they were Hizbullah military zones protected under a deal between Hizbullah and the Lebanese army.”,,2019497,00.html

2 thoughts on “Chalk up one more success for UN Peacekeeping”

  1. Yes, UNIFIL is there to protect rael from Hezbollah just as it is to protect Lebanon from Hezbollah. One more stunt like that of the last summer and Israel will not hold back as it just did. (there was no full mobilization of forceso or ground plan. See potential in Lebanon war v1.0)…

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