The outgoing UN special coordinator for Lebanon says Israeli drones violate Lebanon’s sovereignty on an almost daily basis in blatant violation of international law.
“With regard to the over-flights, these are almost daily occurrences and…It is difficult to think of another country anywhere in the world, subject to such a regime of perpetual intrusion and violation of their sovereignty,” Michael Williams told a press conference at United Nations headquarters on Thursday.
Lebanon’s government, the Hezbollah resistance movement and the UN Interim Force in Lebanon, known as UNIFIL, have repeatedly condemned the flyovers, saying they are a flagrant breach of UN Resolution 1701 and the country’s sovereignty.
UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which brokered a ceasefire in the war Israel launched against Lebanon in 2006, calls on Tel Aviv to respect Beirut’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
In 2009, Lebanon filed a complaint with the United Nations, presenting over 7,000 documents pertaining to Israeli violation of Lebanese territory.
Williams ends his term after serving three years as UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon.
He told the press conference that the UN peacekeepers in Lebanon have been attacked frequently this year, as separate roadside bombings claimed French lives in one case and Italian casualties in another.
The top UN envoy pointed out that those who pulled off the roadside bombings are still active.
Although Williams said his life was never threatened directly, he noted that he was occasionally under "hostile surveillance" from people he did not know.