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Lebanon: Ban Ki-moon condemns rocket attack on Israel, assault on UN vehicle

Lebanon: Ban Ki-moon condemns rocket attack on Israel, assault on UN vehicle

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today strongly condemned the recent firing of rockets against Israel and the attack on a United Nations peacekeeping vehicle in Lebanon.

“If the rockets were launched from Lebanese territory, as is likely, the incident would constitute a serious violation of Security Council Resolution 1701 (2006),” a statement issued by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said, referring to the resolution that ended Israel’s war against Hizbollah in August 2006 and enhanced the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), the peacekeeping mission that has been there since 1978.

UNIFIL is continuing its investigation of the 8 January attack to determine the launch site of the rockets that hit the town of Shlomi in northern Israel, causing minor damage to a house but no injuries.

Mr. Ban also voiced concern at an incident near the Blue Line separating the two countries in the area of Halta on 7 January, and reiterated his calls to visibly mark the Blue Line. He reminded the parties of their obligation to fully adhere to Resolution 1701, respect the cessation of hostilities agreement, and exercise maximum restraint.

On the attack against the peacekeeping vehicle which lightly injured two military members of UNIFIL on the coastal highway near Saida (Sidon), outside the force’s area of operations, Mr. Ban said he was deeply disturbed. “The security and safety of all UN personnel in Lebanon are of paramount importance,” he added.

UNIFIL and the Lebanese authorities are cooperating and coordinating closely in the ongoing investigation. Mr. Ban said he hoped that the perpetrators will be swiftly identified and brought to justice.