UNIFIL Commander condemns rocket attack, stresses need for enhancing security

12 Dec 2011

UNIFIL Commander condemns rocket attack, stresses need for enhancing security

(Press statement - Rocket fire from southern Lebanon, 12 December 2011)

On Sunday 11 December at around 11 pm UNIFIL radars detected firing of one rocket from Qaissiyeh valley. The rocket impacted on a private home in the village of Houla in southern Lebanon causing serious injuries to a woman.

There has been no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

UNIFIL is currently investigating on the ground to determine the facts and circumstances of the incident as well as to locate the launching site of the rocket fire.

UNIFIL Force Commander Major-General Alberto Asarta Cuevas strongly condemned the rocket attack and expressed serious concern at the recent escalation of incidents involving serious security breaches in southern Lebanon.

The Force Commander said: "This is the third incident involving serious security breaches south of the Litani river in a period of two weeks. These instances show that despite all our efforts there continue to be weapons and hostile armed elements ready to use them within our area of operations."

"One of the most important provisions of UN Security Council resolution 1701 is to ensure that there are no armed personnel, assets and weapons other than those of the Government of Lebanon and of UNIFIL in the area between the Blue Line and the Litani River."

"Resolution 1701 clearly stipulates that it is the responsibility of the Lebanese government to implement this decision whereas UNIFIL is mandated to assist the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) in this regard. We have excellent cooperation with the LAF who are our strategic partners on the ground. We remain committed to extend all necessary support to LAF and we will do everything possible within our capabilities and scope of our mandate to assist LAF in this endeavour."

"There is clearly a need for further enhancing security control in the area. Recent efforts by certain elements have been directed at destabilizing the area and we simply cannot allow such acts of violence that endanger the safety of the local population and the security of southern Lebanon."

"I have discussed further steps with the LAF Commander Gen. Kahwagi in our meeting in Naqoura today and he shares my concerns. We are taking concrete measures together with the LAF to further reinforce security across our area of operations while efforts continue to identify and apprehend the perpetrators of these attacks."