Israel’s Ambassador to the UN and to the US Gilad Erdan has slammed UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres over his response to flaring tensions along the Israel-Lebanon border, accusing him of turning a “blind eye to Hezbollah’s war crimes and acts of terror.”
On Friday, Hezbollah fired 19 missiles toward open areas in the north of Israel, its heaviest barrage since the 2006 Second Lebanon War. Israel responded with several rounds of artillery strikes. Hezbollah also released a video of its rocket assault, showing a mobile rocket launcher maneuvering into position and firing a salvo of rockets at Israel.
In his statement earlier today, Guterres expressed his “deep concern about the recent escalation between Lebanon and Israel across the Blue Line, including rocket fire into Israel and return airstrikes and artillery fire into Lebanon.
“The Secretary-General calls on all parties to exercise utmost restraint and to actively engage with UNIFIL’s liaison and coordination mechanisms. It is paramount that all actors involved avoid actions that can further heighten tensions and lead to miscalculation.”
In his own statement, Erdan says it is “unfortunate that the UN Secretary-General repeatedly chooses to draw a moral equivalency between attacks perpetuated by designated terrorist organizations and the law-abiding, democratic State of Israel, which is a member of the UN.
“It is inconceivable that the rocket fire for which Hezbollah itself explicitly took responsibility has not been attributed by the Secretary-General to that terrorist organization,” he adds.
“The UN continues to willfully turn a blind eye to Hezbollah’s war crimes and acts of terror and its effective control of Lebanese territory. These actions by Hezbollah will ultimately lead to the destruction of Lebanon,” Erdan argues. “We expect more from the UN, which should serve as a voice of moral clarity before it’s too late for the people of Lebanon and the region as a whole.”