Written by – Elijah J. Magnier:
In the Middle East, UN decisions are often brushed aside. Israel, for example, has ignored numerous UN Security Council resolutions to withdraw from Lebanese, Palestinian and Syrian-occupied territories. However, a recent UN decision to extend the stay of UNIFIL forces in Lebanon with special powers that violate Lebanese sovereignty has raised eyebrows. The move, seen by many as a US-Israeli strategy for Lebanon’s future, gives UNIFIL the right to operate without local approval, potentially undermining the Lebanese protests. The underlying goal? To curb Hezbollah’s growing military influence, which Israel finds increasingly intolerable, only if Israel withdraws from the occupied Lebanese territories a significant step currently on the table.
At a UN Security Council meeting last Thursday, the US, Emirati and British ambassadors pushed for an extension of UNIFIL’s mandate in Lebanon with special powers incompatible with the Lebanese government’s demands. While Russia and China abstained, thirteen nations voted in favour. The revised authorisation allows UN forces to operate in southern Lebanon without coordinating with or informing the Lebanese army. This additional power for UNIFIL forces is expected to be used against UN members working in Lebanon, undoubtedly only if the UN General Command decides to use these powers.
Subscribe to get access
Read more of this content when you subscribe today.