UN chief, Security Council, call for calm after shooting on Israeli-Lebanese border

UNIFIL peacekeepers on patrol in Lebanon. Photo: UNIFIL

16 December 2013 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the members of Security Council have deplored the shooting on Sunday of an Israel Defence Forces (IDF) soldier by a Lebanese soldier, and called for calm and continued restraint by all parties.

The shooting occurred in the vicinity of the so-called Blue Line separating Israel and Lebanon at Naqoura, according to a statement issued by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson.

“The Israel Defence Forces and the Lebanese Armed Forces are cooperating with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) to ascertain the facts,” the spokesperson stated.

“The Secretary-General reminds the Lebanese Armed Forces of their responsibilities under Security Council resolution 1701 and strongly urges both sides to exercise restraint.”

Resolution 1701, which ended the 2006 war between Israel and the Lebanese group Hizbollah, calls for respect for the Blue Line, the disarming of all militias in Lebanon, and an end to arms smuggling in the area.

Also addressing the matter, Ambassador Gerard Araud of France, which holds this month’s rotating presidency of the Security Council, read out a statement to the press on behalf of the 15-member body, also calling for calm on the ground.

He said that after consulting on the matter, the Council called upon the IDF and the Lebanese Armed Forces to continue to cooperate with the UNIFIL to ascertain the facts related to the incident. In this regard, Council members welcomed the extraordinary Tripartite meeting convened by UNIFIL today, and the reaffirmation by the parties of their commitment to the cessation of hostilities and of their interest in preserving calm and stability along the Blue Line.

“The members of the Security Council noted that UNIFIL confirmed the Lebanese Government’s preliminary findings which indicate that the shooting was an individual action by a soldier,” he said, adding that Council members further underlined that it remains a serious contravention of the existing operational rules and procedures as related to resolution 1701.

“The members of the Security Council looked forward to the completion of UNIFIL and Lebanese’s investigations into the incident.”


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