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Lebanon: Ban condemns rocket fire towards Israel as 'serious ceasefire violation,' urges restraint

21 December 2015 – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon voiced great concern today over yesterday's firing of rockets from South Lebanon towards Israel, calling it "a serious violation" of the ceasefire, noted Israel's retaliatory mortar attack, and urged maximum restraint.

Three rockets were fired from southern Lebanon towards Israel and Israel retaliated with some eight rounds of 120mm mortar, but no casualties were reported from either side, according to the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).

"The Secretary-General is greatly concerned over yesterday's firing of rockets within UNIFIL's area of operations from the area of Al-Hinniyah, in the vicinity of Tyr, towards Israel, which is a serious violation of resolution 1701 (2006)," said a statement from Mr. Ban's spokesperson, referring to the Security Council measure that established a ceasefire after fighting between Israel and Hezbollah in 2006.

"The Secretary-General notes the retaliatory mortar attacks by the Israel Defence Forces in Lebanon in the area of Zibqin. UNIFIL is investigating the circumstances of the incident in cooperation with the Lebanese Armed Forces and the Israel Defence Forces," the statement said.

"The Secretary-General condemns any and all violations of resolution 1701 (2006) and urges all concerned to exercise maximum restraint and cooperate with UNIFIL in order to prevent an escalation," it added, reaffirming the UN's commitment to work with the parties to ensure that the calm that has prevailed in southern Lebanon continues to be sustained.

"The parties must fully adhere to resolution 1701 (2006) and respect the cessation of hostilities," it stressing.

UNIFIL currently has nearly 10,500 personnel deployed in the area.

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