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US Slams Hezbollah amid Israeli Claim that Lebanese Army is Ignoring Group’s Activity | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A Hezbollah member reacts while Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah talks on a screen during a televised speech at a festival celebrating Resistance and Liberation Day, in Nabatiyeh May 24, 2015. REUTERS/Ali Hashisho

US Ambassador Nikki Haley on Wednesday accused Lebanon’s “Hezbollah” of amassing weapons and said the world must turn its attention to the group’s actions. 

Haley met with UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Sigrid Kaag ahead of a Security Council meeting Thursday on the implementation of Resolution 1701 that ended the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah.

“Ambassador Haley expressed alarm over the build-up of weapons by Hezbollah, a situation that demands the international community’s attention to prevent the further escalation of regional tensions,” said a statement by the US mission.

She stressed that the international community must “apply more pressure on Hezbollah to disarm and cease its destabilizing behavior, especially toward Israel.”

Haley said the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) must be “fully engaged in addressing the threat posed by Hezbollah.”

The ambassador has been a strong supporter of Israel.

The Israeli army said Tuesday that ‘Hezbollah’ has been establishing observation posts under the guise of an NGO “Green Without Borders” near the UN-drawn Blue Line since April, presumably to gather intelligence.

It released additional footage of Hezbollah members gathering intelligence on Israel, in violation of Resolution 1701.

Head of the Northern Command Maj.- Gen Yoel Strick, at a ceremony in northern Israel, said the Israeli army’s readiness is constantly increasing and that it continues to monitor the situation along the border.

According to Strick, the Lebanese army “turns a blind eye” to Hezbollah’s activity and even allows it to use its infrastructure against Israel.

Maj.-Gen. Herzel Halevi, the commander of Israel’s military intelligence, said Hezbollah’s disguised operations were part of yet another attempt by the group to “further entrench its infrastructure.”

Hezbollah is “once again blatantly violating UN Resolution 1701,” which calls for the disarmament of armed groups in Lebanon, Halevi added.