United Nations, Dec 20 : The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) has confirmed the existence of at least two tunnels crossing the “Blue Line”- the border demarcation between Lebanon and Israel, but they “do not appear thus far” to have exit points leading to the surface on Israeli territory, the United Nations top peacekeeping official told the Security Council.
Briefing the Security Council, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, said that a thorough investigation to establish the trajectories and points of origin of the tunnels “is a complex task” as they are between 29 and 46 metres below ground, difficult to detect, and near areas sensitive to both parties.
“While the tunnels do not appear thus far to have exit points on the Israeli side, they are a serious violation of resolution 1701,” he said.
“UNIFIL is acting judiciously to complete its investigations of the tunnels – with technical teams on the ground – and to work with both parties to ensure that any tunnels that are in violation of the resolution are disabled decisively and safely.”
He also informed the Council that, from the outset, UNIFIL has sought to “accurately assess” the alleged violations as well as work with the parties to maintain calm along the Blue Line.(UNI)