After last Tuesday’s hoopla, UNIFIL has decided to step their activities up a notch. They’ve increased their activities in southern Lebanon. Saturday, UNIFIL troops attempted to search an abandoned building in Bir el-Salasel, a village of Hezbollah supporters/members not far from the site of last week’s explosion. However, villagers surrounded the peace-keeping troops, barred them from examining the building, throwing stones and demanding that they leave, as well as preventing more peace keepers from coming and bailing out their fellow troops. It fell to the Lebanese army to escort the UNIFIL troops away.
Further , today, UNIFIL spotted 15 protesters, including some children, carrying Hezbollah and Lebanese flags cross the border into Israel. The group apparently entered Israel from an area without a border fence. The group was spotted by the IDF, which chose not to act as the group was unarmed. The protesters returned to Lebanon several minutes after crossing into Israel. The Israeli Army has noted that this is in serious violation of UNSC Resolution 1701.
It would appear that today’s events are a serious blow to UNIFIL’s claims at capability or adeptness. One must seriously wonder as to the point of UNIFIL’s presence in Lebanon. They do not serve to prevent Hezbollah from firing rockets at Israel, neither are they able to prevent Hezbollah from amassing weapons and munitions as well as training their troops. Further, they are not even able to prevent an unarmed group of civilians from crossing the border to Israel. Of what, exactly, are they capable? Since they seem to be rather incompetent, would it not be better that the funds spent on maintaining their presence there be spent on peace-keeping missions which actually do something? Or to UNICEF, or the WHO?
On the bright side, though, at least they provide business to restaurants in northern Israel.