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Lebanon condemns Israeli aggression, urges ‘immediate’ withdrawal of occupation forces

This photo shows the Israeli shelling of the village of Kfarchouba and its outskirts in southern Lebanon on July 6, 2023. (By Lebanese media)

The Lebanese government has strongly condemned the latest Israeli aggression on the country’s southern territories, calling for the “immediate and unconditional” withdrawal of the regime’s forces from its soil.

The Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement after the Israeli military targeted with 15 artillery shells the village of Kfarchouba and its outskirts in southern Lebanon Thursday.

The ministry called he attack a violation of the Lebanese sovereignty and Resolution 1701, calling on "the United Nations and the international community to put pressure on Israel to stop its violations and aggressions, which continue at an escalating pace recently on the Lebanese lands, airspace and territorial waters."

The statement called on "countries wishing to maintain calm and stability in southern Lebanon and the Middle East, to be aware of the coincidence of these Israeli violations with the imminent submission of a request to extend the work of the UNIFIL forces operating in southern Lebanon to the United Nations Security Council.”

The ministry underlined the country’s respect for the implementation of all international resolutions, and called for the “immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Israel from all the Lebanese territories it still occupies.”

The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) was created by the Security Council in March 1978 to confirm Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon, restore international peace and security, and assist the Lebanese government in restoring its effective authority in the area.

UNIFIL commander Major General Aroldo Lazaro said he was working with the Lebanese and Israeli authorities "to prevent further escalation," and urged "all parties to exercise restraint and refrain from taking actions that might exacerbate the situation."

The Israeli military claimed on Thursday that one missile had been fired from southern Lebanon at the occupied territories. There was no claim of responsibility for the strike and there were no reports of casualties or damage.

The Israeli media reported the missile fire but quoted military sources as saying that the explosion resulted from a mine, not a rocket.

Over the past years, Israel has violated Lebanon’s airspace almost daily, claiming the flights serve surveillance purposes. 

Lebanon’s government, the Hezbollah resistance movement and the UNIFIL have repeatedly condemned the overflights, saying they are in clear violation of UN Resolution 1701 and the Arab country’s sovereignty. 

Hezbollah fought off two Israeli wars against Lebanon in 2000 and 2006, forcing a humiliating retreat upon the Tel Aviv regime’s military in both cases.

The movement has vowed to resolutely defend Lebanon in case of any other Israeli-imposed warfare.

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