Secretary-General Condemns Explosion that Impacted United Nations Truce Supervision Organization Observer Group Lebanon Patrol

The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres:

The Secretary-General condemns an explosion today that impacted an Observer Group Lebanon (OGL) patrol, injuring three OGL military observers of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) and one language assistant.  An investigation by the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) is under way.  He reiterates that the safety and security of peacekeepers must be ensured at all times.

The situation along the Blue Line between Lebanon and Israel since 8 October last year, with daily exchanges of fire between non-State armed groups based in Lebanon and the Israel Defense Forces, continues to be of grave concern.  These repeated breaches of the cessation of hostilities are in violation of Security Council resolution 1701 (2006).  The impact on civilian areas, with dozens of civilian fatalities reported, destruction of residential and agricultural areas, and displacement of tens of thousands of people on both sides of the Blue Line, is unacceptable.  These hostile actions have not only disrupted the livelihoods of thousands of people, but they also pose a grave threat to the security and stability of Lebanon, Israel and the region.

All actors are urged to refrain from further breaches of the cessation of hostilities in compliance with the framework of resolution 1701 (2006) and to pursue a diplomatic solution to the crisis.  The United Nations stands ready to support such efforts, including through the exercise of the good offices of the Secretary-General, the United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon and the liaison and coordination mechanisms of UNIFIL.  The Secretary-General wishes those injured in today’s incident a full and speedy recovery and pays tribute to the women and men of the Observer Group Lebanon-UNTSO who have worked tirelessly to implement their mandate in such dangerous conditions.

For information media. Not an official record.