UN chief concerned over Hezbollah, Palestinian arms, Israeli violations of Lebanon airspace

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

In his report, which was discussed during the closed-door consultations at the United Nations Security Council on Monday  , UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres accused the Iranian backed -Hezbollah  militant group of “undermining” the ability of the Lebanese government to exercise its sovereignty and authority, al Jamhourieh newspaper reported

“Hezbollah continues to publicly declare that it retains military capabilities and made no progress towards the disarmament of its armed groups outside the control of the State, thereby undermining the ability of the Government of Lebanon to exercise its sovereignty and authority over its territory in full. “

Guterres cited statements made by Hezbollah MP Nawaf al-Moussawi  who stated last  March  that “the resistance is capable of striking the depth of Israeli territory.”

His report also quoted statements by Israeli army Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot in early April, warning of the possibility of a war with Lebanon in 2018 “larger than before,” added the newspaper.

Guterres also pointed out that “there has been no progress in dismantling the military bases maintained by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command and Fatah-Intifada, who continue to undermine Lebanon’s sovereignty and impede the ability of the state to effectively monitor and control parts of the border.”

He  also expressed concern that Israel continues to violate Lebanon’s air space, pointing out that “it not only constitutes a danger for the Lebanese, but also fuels anti-Israel sentiment and rhetoric.”