Statement by the Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Stefano Del Col
In recent days, several serious incidents have occurred across the Blue Line. These incidents have included rockets launched from south Lebanon into Israel, which drew retaliatory artillery fire by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) inside UNIFIL’s area of operations. While we have seen 15 years of relative stability, these incidents show that we cannot take this for granted.
UNIFIL has engaged all its mechanisms to contain the incidents and prevent further escalation. The parties have so far heeded my calls for restraint, and this has helped UNIFIL intervene on the ground and through our liaison channels each time we have been challenged in our area of operation, in south Lebanon.
The cessation of hostilities has largely held, notwithstanding the regional volatility, and this has served all sides well. We, UNIFIL and the parties, absolutely cannot allow any actions that could put this in jeopardy.
I appeal to the parties to exercise maximum restraint and to continue liaising closely with UNIFIL to decrease tension, prevent escalation, and avoid unilateral action in this very sensitive period.”