Israel accuses Indian peacekeepers of helping Hezbollah

Israel accuses Indian peacekeepers of helping Hezbollah

In a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and the President of the UN Security Council Ruhakana Rugunda, Israel accused an Indian contingent of United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) of having done nothing to prevent the demonstrators from crossing the border and even cooperating with the group, 'The Jerusalem Post' reported.

"(The demonstrators) stood opposite the UNIFIL force, (which did nothing), and worse than that, according to statements made by the organisers of the demonstration, they even cooperated with them," Israeli Ambassador to the world body Gabriela Shalev wrote in the letter.

Fifteen Lebanese civilians had crossed into Israel last Friday waving Hezbollah flags. The Israeli troops spotted the group, but did not confront them as they returned to south Lebanon minutes later.

This is not the first time when Tel Aviv has accused Indian troops stationed in south Lebanon of having helped Hezbollah.

Indian troops were blamed by Tel Aviv for not only quietly watching the abduction of three Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah in October 2000 but even assisting them after having accepted bribes.

Shalev also lashed out at Hezbollah for its "grievous violations of Resolution 1701," which included both the border breach, as well as an attack by Lebanese villagers against UNIFIL troops on Saturday who were investigating an explosion in a suspected arms depot allegedly belonging to the group.

Both incidents "demonstrate an escalation and a pattern of behaviour in Lebanon, that must be confronted," Shalev wrote.

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