On August 24, the Security Council renewed the UNIFIL mandate by another year and called on all parties in the region to play their part to turn last year’s cessation of hostilities between Israel and Hizbullah into a permanent ceasefire and a more durable solution.

(Communicated by the MFA Spokesman)

The decision by the UN Security Council to renew the mandate of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) reflects the determination of the international community to complete the task of fully implementing UN Security Council Resolution 1701.

Israel will not view this task as complete until its abducted soldiers are returned, the arms embargo is effectively applied, Hizbullah is disarmed, and the Lebanese government extends its full sovereignty in southern Lebanon.

The situation in southern Lebanon is significantly different from that on the eve of the Second Lebanon War. Today, 10,000 soldiers of the Lebanese army are deployed in the area, assisted by over 13,000 UNIFIL soldiers. Hizbullah operatives can no longer move about fully armed as they did openly until July of last year.  However, this is not enough, as long as Hizbullah continues to arm itself and poses a threat to Israel, the Lebanese army and the international forces.

The international community must work to dismantle Hizbullah in order to allow Lebanon to exist as a sovereign state which effectively exerts its authority throughout its territory. Lebanon, too, must enforce the arms embargo on Hizbullah.

Vice Premier and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni welcomes the decision of the Security Council, views Lebanon as responsible for events in its territory, and calls on the international community to be firm in implementing the resolution, including the return of the abducted soldiers and the disarming of Hizbullah.