SWC: “Hezbollah Terrorist Posters and Banners at UNIFIL South Lebanon Barrack Violates UN Mandate”

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SWC: “Hezbollah Terrorist Posters and Banners at UNIFIL South Lebanon Barrack Violates UN Mandate”

Paris, 1 February 2010

In a letter to UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping, Alain Le Roy, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre’s Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, expressed outrage at the “attached photographs of Hezbollah posters and banners displayed on a barrack at a UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon) base in southern Lebanon close to the border with Israel.”

Samuels stressed that “these clearly depict Hassan Nasrallah, leader of this terrorist movement, and a photo of the prisoner exchange, at the sickening moment that Hezbollah revealed the fact that their Israeli hostages were corpses.”

The letter noted that “UNIFIL was established by the Security Council in 1978 after Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon to “restore international peace and security”. Following the July/August 2006 Israeli/Hezbollah war, UNIFIL’s mandate was expanded under Resolution 1701 to include:

-Monitor the cessation of hostilities
-Accompany and support the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) as they deploy throughout the South, as Israel withdraws its armed forces from Lebanon
-Coordinate these activities with the governments of Lebanon and Israel
-Extend its assistance to help humanitarian access to civilian populations and the voluntary and safe return of displaced persons
-Assist the LAF on taking steps towards the establishment, between the Blue Line and the Litani river, of an area free of any armed personnel, assets and weapons other than those of the Government of Lebanon and of UNIFIL deployed in this area
-Assist the Government of Lebanon in securing its borders and other entry points to prevent the entry in Lebanon, without its consent, of arms or related material.

Samuels added, “Indeed, on 23 December 2009, Lebanese Defense Minister, Elias Murr, renewed 'the commitment of his Government to UNSC Resolution 1701, in all its articles.'”

The Centre emphasized that “the attached photos gravely damage UNIFIL’s credibility and clearly violate its above-mentioned mandate,” urging the official “to launch an immediate investigation, the dismissal of all UN-related personnel implicated and your strong public condemnation of this endorsement of terror by UNIFIL.”

The letter insisted that, “Should posters and banners glorifying Hezbollah continue to appear alongside, or in place of, the UN flag, the United Nations itself will bear responsibility for further weakening those Lebanese eager for peace and for reestablishing the very conditions that led to war in 2006.”

“Moreover, Hezbollah is a terrorist antisemitic organization which, together with its Iranian sponsor, is indicted in the Buenos Aires Jewish Centre bombing that left 85 dead and hundreds maimed. Rather than be glorified, we call on your support in placing Hezbollah on the United Nations terrorist watchlist,” concluded Samuels.

For further information contact Shimon Samuels at 00 33 6 09 77 01 58

These photos were taken on 28 December 2010, but the flag and posters were seen there by locals several months earlier:

1. UNIFIL base in South Lebanon near border
2. To left (South) of this base, Hezbollah poster on UNIFIL barrack

3. Hezbollah banner in place of UN flag in violation of UNSC Resolution 1701

4. Under Hezbollah poster is photo of coffin of Israeli hostage exchanged last year for, among others, child murderer Sami Kuntar. Written in Arabic "Your extermination is certain"
Photo credits: Ilan Tsadik, Metula Press Agency