United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon
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UNIFIL: Lebanon Informed of Belgium's 'Routine' Withdrawal

Lebanese authorities have been informed that Belgium will withdraw its contingent from the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, the peacekeeping mission's spokesperson, Andrea Tenenti, said.

Tenenti told An Nahar newspaper published on Tuesday that the UNIFIL leadership was first informed about Belgium's decision by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations in New York.

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'Verbal Dispute' with UNIFIL as Israel Violates Lebanon Territorial, Maritime Sovereignty

An Israeli patrol crossed Lebanon's border and penetrated 50 meters into the outskirts of the southern town of Shebaa on Thursday, sparking a verbal dispute with peacekeepers from the Indian UNIFIL battalion who are positioned in the area.

“At 9:30 am, an Israeli enemy pedestrian patrol crossed the withdrawal line and penetrated 50 meters into the outskirts of the Jabal al-Shahel area in Shebaa inside Lebanese territory, before retreating to the occupied territories,” the Lebanese army said in a statement.

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Bassil Goes to Naqoura in First Such Visit to UNIFIL by Lebanese FM

Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil went to the headquarters of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon on Friday, the first such visit by a Lebanese foreign minister to the peacekeeping mission since 1978.

UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major-General Luciano Portolano briefed Bassil in Naqoura on the situation in UNIFIL’s area of operations south of the Litani River, said a press release.

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Israeli General Says Hizbullah Threat Greater than Gaza

Hizbullah is more dangerous than militant groups operating in the Gaza Strip, an Israeli army general said, expressing belief that the party has dug tunnels across the border from Lebanon in preparation for any future war with the Jewish State.

As a result of the greater threat from Hizbullah and in the event of a future conflict, the Israeli army will have to take “many more decisive acts and employ much more power” than it did in Gaza, Maj.-Gen. Yair Golan, commander of Israeli forces on the Lebanese and Syrian fronts, told Army Radio on Wednesday.

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Family: Body of Lebanese Businessman Found after Plane Crash

Lebanese businessman George Obaji's body was found in Cypriot territorial waters after his plane crashed en route to Beirut, his family and authorities said on Thursday.

The chief of Cyprus' aircraft accidents board said earlier that search crews found wreckage belonging to the small aircraft that vanished on Wednesday.

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Plumbly Says World 'Strongly Committed' to Support Lebanese Army

The international community remains strongly committed to supporting the Lebanese army, U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Derek Plumbly said Monday.

Plumbly told reporters following a visit to Prime Minister Tammam Salam at the Grand Serail that he “paid tribute to Lebanon’s security forces, particularly the army, for all the efforts and sacrifices they have made to safeguard the country in the face of grave challenges.”

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Hizbullah Claims Responsibility for Border Blast that Wounded 2 Israeli Soldiers

Hizbullah claimed responsibility on Tuesday of a blast on the border between Lebanon and Israel that wounded two Israeli soldiers.

An explosive device targeted an Israeli patrol in the Shebaa Farms in southern Lebanon, said the party.

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Security Council Extends UNIFIL Mandate

The U.N. Security Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to extend the mandate of the U.N. peacekeeping force in Lebanon and strongly condemned attempts to threaten the country’s security and stability.

In extending the mission’s mandate until August 31 2015, the Council commended the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon for helping to establish a “new strategic environment in southern Lebanon” and called for further cooperation between the force and the Lebanese army.

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Army Finds Platforms Used to Fire Rockets at Israel, UNIFIL Slams 'Extremist' Act

Two rocket launchpads were found Sunday in the southern region of Tyre, from which two rockets were fired overnight Saturday at northern Israel.

“At 22:30 on Saturday unknown assailants fired two rockets from Dheira town”, three kilometers (nearly two miles) from the border with Israel, the army said in communique on Sunday.

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Geagea Says Hizbullah Involved Lebanon in Syria Conflict

Lebanese Force leader Samir Geagea rejected any armed presence for Syrians on Lebanese territories, considering that the situation in the northeastern town of Arsal will deteriorate as long as the conflict in neighboring country Syria is ongoing and Hizbullah is engaged in the war.

Geagea wondered in an interview with Free Lebanon radio why the army doesn't prevent Hizbullah fighters from entering Syria.

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