Israeli defense minister calls on UN to help calm tensions along Israel-Lebanon border

Xinhua , Tuesday 29 Aug 2023

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on Tuesday urged the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to act to calm tensions along the Israel-Lebanon border to prevent a possible escalation.

 Yoav Gallant and Antonio Guterres
Israel s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant (L) and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres at the UN Headquarters in New York, US. Photo released by Israel s Defense Ministry


The two met at the UN Headquarters in New York, according to a statement issued by the Israeli Defense Ministry.

Gallant told Guterres that the growing tensions on Israel's northern border are a result of "ongoing provocations and flagrant violations by the Hezbollah," referring mainly to the erection of a Hezbollah tent in what he said was Israeli territory.

He said Hezbollah has established "dozens" of military compounds along the border and increased patrols by its combatants.

On the other hand, Lebanon said Israel violated its sovereignty by erecting a barbed wire fence and a cement wall surrounding the border-straddling village of Ghajar.

The Israeli minister called for an "immediate" intervention by the UN to de-escalate tensions, adding that the presence of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), a UN peacekeeping force, in the region should be strengthened.

Gallant warned that Israel "will not tolerate increasing threats to the security of its citizens, and will act as required in their defense."

Guterres has reportedly met with the Lebanese Foreign Minister Abdallah Bouhabib in New York on Monday, according to Israel's Kan TV news.

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