Hezbollah angry over UNIFIL presence in South Lebanon


Continued border patrols conducted by U.N. peacekeepers in southern Lebanon not only have angered residents but Hezbollah, too.

Hezbollah MP Ali Fayyad slammed UNIFIL, criticizing the patrol operations as “maneuvers.”

Angry residents on Tuesday blocked Adeisseh-Kfar Kila road in southern Lebanon and hurled stones at a U.N. vehicle in Khirbit Selim to protest passing of UNIFIL patrols.

Considering the peacekeepers’ action as “provocative” and “noisy,” Fayyad said he also noticed that UNIFIL troops were not accompanied “as usual” by Lebanese army patrols. He told An-Nahar newspaper in remarks published Wednesday that residents were surprised by UNIFIL’s “unprecedented” heavy military presence in villages and neighborhoods.

He said the move angered residents who expected UNIFIL to deter Israeli forces from kidnapping a Lebanese shepherd a few days ago instead of making all this action in their villages.

Residents, instead, were surprised to see UNIFIL has intensified it military movement within the villages, Fayyad said, adding that this act was “not in line with U.N. Resolution 1701.”

Responding to calls made over the loudspeakers, southerners on Tuesday gathered outside Adeisseh’s main square, protesting against what they called “maneuvers” by Spanish peacekeepers around their village.

Lebanese troops managed to reopen the road several hours later.

Similar demonstrations took place almost simultaneously in Khirbit Selim where residents gathered in the main square demanding an end to UNFIL patrols inside their village.

At Tibnin-Kfardounine-Bir Salasel road junction, residents took to the streets, hurling stones at an armored vehicle manned by French U.N. troops.

The APC’s windshield was shattered and U.N. troops were forced to leave.