Israel welcomes UN mission in Lebanon under new mandate

JERUSALEM — Israel is welcoming the extension of a U.N. peacekeeping operation under tougher directives in southern Lebanon adding it must act to maintain stability there.

The Foreign Ministry said Friday UNIFIL must act in a “significant and decisive way” to stop Iranian-backed militants Hezbollah from strengthening near its frontier.

The Security Council renewed the mission known as UNIFIL this week, with new orders for more patrols and detailed reports when peacekeepers run into roadblocks in Hezbollah strongholds.

The U.S. and Israel pushed for the changes, saying UNIFIL wasn’t doing enough to stop a Hezbollah buildup.

Iran is suspected of sending weapons to Hezbollah via Syria, where the militant group is fighting alongside President Bashar Assad.

Hezbollah fired thousands of rockets at Israel during a month-long war in 2006.



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