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UN finds more rockets aimed at Israel from southern Lebanon

29 October 2009 – A day after Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged maximum restraint by all sides, United Nations peacekeepers today found four more rockets, three of them set to be fired, in an area of southern Lebanon from which a missile zoomed into Israel on Monday.

“Such attacks are evidently aimed at provoking renewed hostilities to undermine the security and stability in south Lebanon,” the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) said in a news release, in which it also voiced concern at Israel’s return fire of artillery shells on Monday.

It noted that rocket fire from Lebanon is a serious violation of Security Council resolution 1701 of 2006, which calls for an end to hostilities between Israel and Hizbollah militants, respect for the so-called Blue Line separating the Israeli and Lebanese sides, disarming of militias and an end to arms smuggling.

“In recent months, a number of serious incidents took place in UNIFIL’s area of operations,” it said. “Such incidents constitute a significant challenge for the parties as well as for UNIFIL and have particularly strained the security and liaison arrangements that are in place to maintain the cessation of hostilities.”

The mission said UNIFIL, in cooperation with the Lebanese army, had been able to contain the incidents, working in close coordination with the parties to prevent any further escalation, and it strongly urged the sides to continue to resort to the existing liaison and coordination mechanism.

“On its part, UNIFIL will do its utmost to ensure full respect of the relevant provisions of resolution 1701 that include taking all necessary action, in close cooperation with the LAF [Lebanese armed forces], to ensure that its area of operations is not utilized for hostile activities of any kind,” the statement concluded.

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