Home » Time to reassess UNIFIL mission, says Crosetto in Israel

Time to reassess UNIFIL mission, says Crosetto in Israel

The Italian Defence Minister met with his Israeli counterpart to reiterate Rome’s support, rejoicing for the release of hostages. He also called for a “thorough re-evaluation” of the UNIFIL mission at the border with Lebanon, stressing that the ongoing instability indicates it’s not working as intended

Guido Crosetto is in Israel. On Friday, the Italian Defence Minister met in Tel Aviv with his Israeli counterpart, Yoav Gallant, emphasising the importance of showing friendship and closeness to Israel – with the latter thanking him for Italy’s support and solidarity and both emphasising the importance of working together to build a future of coexistence and peace.

  • Minister Crosetto rejoiced for the planned release of Israeli civilians held hostages by Hamas and expressed hope that the truce would extend until all 240 of them were safely reunited with their families.
  • He also voiced concern over the Palestinian civilian population’s right to life while reiterating that the fight against Hamas would end when it is rendered militarily harmless.

The UNIFIL issue. Hours earlier, Minister Crosetto had spoken about the need to thoroughly re-evaluate the role of the Italy-heavy United Nations peacekeeping mission at the border between Israel and Lebanon. “Perhaps the rules of engagement need to be changed. The current ones do not give security to the contingents, so the issue must be addressed,” he stressed ahead of his visit to the UN in New York on Monday.

  • Ongoing rocket attacks since the beginning of the conflict imply that UNIFIL has not achieved its intended goals despite its 20-plus years of operation, he remarked, citing the risk of an escalation involving Lebanon and possibly Syria in the conflict.
  • Stability in the region is crucial, as any further escalation would create problems in the Mediterranean area as well as for the entire international community, he told Sky TG 24.

Humanitarian aid. The Italian official, who will continue touring the Middle East over the coming days, also highlighted Italy’s role in providing humanitarian aid – including sending a fully staffed and equipped Navy hospital ship – stressing that another field hospital is ready to be deployed and Italian aircraft are engaged in urgent medical transport flights for those in imminent danger.

  • He reiterated Italy’s commitment to both Israel and the Palestinian population, supporting humanitarian, diplomatic, political, and material needs.


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