BEIRUT: The U.N. Security Council extended the mandate of the Interim Force in Lebanon for an additional year in a decision issued Tuesday evening.
Resolution 2172 was unanimously adopted to extend the mandate of the peacekeeping force until Aug. 31, 2015, with no major changes in deployment.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the presence of the mission remained necessary for peace and stability in south Lebanon, citing recent incidents of rockets fired from south Lebanon toward Israel and of retaliation by the Israeli army across the Blue Line.
Since the war on Gaza began last month, several rockets were fired from south Lebanon into Israel, prompting the latter to fire a barrage of retaliatory shells.
The council expressed “deep concern at all violations in connection with Resolution 1701 (2006), and looking forward to the rapid finalization of UNIFIL’s investigations with a view to preventing such violations in the future.”
The15-member council also condemned in “the strongest terms all attempts to threaten the security and stability of Lebanon, reaffirming its determination to ensure that no such acts of intimidation will prevent UNIFIL from implementing its mandate.”
In the resolution, the council strongly “called upon all parties concerned to respect the cessation of hostilities, to prevent any violation of the Blue Line and to respect it in its entirety and to cooperate fully with the United Nations and UNIFIL.”
It emphasized that more work remained to be done by the parties to advance the full implementation of Resolution 1701 and urged Israel to expedite the withdrawal of its army from northern Ghajar without further delay in coordination with UNIFIL.