Foreign Minister Eli Cohen has reportedly warned the UN Security Council that a regional war is likely if its 2006 resolution calling for the disarmament of Lebanon’s Hezbollah terror group is not fully implemented.
“For the good of regional stability and to avoid further escalation, the next session of the UN Security Council must adopt a totally different approach in order to end the dangerous violations by Hezbollah and other terrorist groups on the border,” Cohen wrote to the Security Council, according to a Channel 12 news report Tuesday evening.
UN Security Council Resolution 1701 brought to an end the Second Lebanon War in 2006, and called for the disarmament of all non-state armed forces in Lebanon, as well as for the region between the Israel-Lebanon border and the Litani River to be freed of all armed forces other than the Lebanese army and the UN’s peacekeeping mission UNIFIL.
These clauses of the resolution were never implemented, and Hezbollah has become a heavily armed terror militia. It claims to have tens of thousands of fighters and possesses a reported arsenal of some 150,000 rockets and missiles of different types.
Hezbollah, Hamas and other terror groups in southern Lebanon have routinely fired rockets at Israeli cities and attacked IDF forces on the Israel-Lebanon border since Hamas’s October 7 atrocities, resulting in a number of Israeli fatalities.
The IDF has attacked Hezbollah operatives and positions in response, killing dozens of their fighters.
On Wednesday morning, the IDF said its fighter jets carried out strikes against Hezbollah targets in southern Lebanon, including a military compound where terror operatives were gathered and other infrastructure belonging to the terror group.
On Tuesday night, the IDF released footage of the strikes earlier that day on Hezbollah targets in southern Lebanon, which included a command center and other infrastructure belonging to the Iran-backed terror group.
לפני זמן קצר מטוסי קרב של צה"ל תקפו מספר מטרות טרור של ארגון הטרור חיזבאללה בשטח לבנון.
בין המטרות שנתקפו, תשתיות טרור ואתר צבאי בו פעלו מחבלי הארגון. pic.twitter.com/MWLgeiRLjo
— דובר צה״ל דניאל הגרי – Daniel Hagari (@IDFSpokesperson) November 22, 2023
Four members of the Hamas terror group were killed in one of the strikes, according to a Palestinian official and a Lebanese security official.
The Tuesday strike occurred in the village of Chaatiyeh near the Mediterranean coast, according to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to reveal military information.
Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency confirmed that four people were killed in a vehicle but did not give any further details. The IDF did not comment on the strike.
Israel also intercepted one of its own unmanned aerial vehicles over the Lower Galilee on Tuesday, after it was identified as having a technical malfunction.
“The launch [of the interceptor missile] was carried out in a controlled manner and there is no fear of a security incident,” the IDF said.
מטוסי קרב של צה"ל תקפו תשתיות טרור ומפקדה מבצעית של ארגון הטרור חיזבאללה בשטח לבנון בתגובה לשיגורים לעבר שטח מדינת ישראל במהלך היום pic.twitter.com/V5h7fNNDew
— צבא ההגנה לישראל (@idfonline) November 21, 2023
White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said Tuesday that the US has identified an uptick in cooperation between Iran and Russia against Israel.
“Our information further indicates that [the] Wagner [Group], at the direction of the Russian government, was preparing to provide an air defense capability to either Hezbollah or Iran,” Kirby told reporters during a briefing.
Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal quoted unidentified US officials as saying that the Wagner Group was preparing to supply Iran with the Pantsir-S1, a Russian self-propelled anti-aircraft gun and missile system known by NATO as SA-22.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a warning to Hezbollah last week amid the escalating tensions in the north.
“There are those who think they can expand their attacks against our troops and against civilians. This is playing with fire,” Netanyahu said, without explicitly mentioning Hezbollah. “Fire will be met with much stronger fire. They must not try us, because we have displayed only a little part of our power. We will harm those who harm us.”
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.