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Statement by UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Lt. General Aroldo Lázaro on the occasion of Eid El Fitr

Ramadan should be a time of peace and reflection, but the current situation along the Blue Line has deeply affected these notions.  

For the end of Ramadan, on the occasion of Eid El Fitr, UNIFIL calls for a return to the cessation of hostilities, and a move towards a permanent ceasefire and a long-term solution to the conflict.

Almost 50 countries send peacekeepers to south Lebanon out of a sense of commitment, friendship, and a belief that long-term peace is possible for the region. Over 46 years, we have developed strong bonds with the communities in which we have lived and worked. 

Since October, UNIFIL has continued to call on the parties to respect their commitments under resolution 1701 and has maintained its operational activities aimed at lowering tensions and preventing escalation. The mission has also provided medical, dental, and veterinary care in villages across south Lebanon; supplied solar energy systems to villages, civil defense, and schools; donated needed equipment to schools, hospitals, and first responders; and given infant formula and flour to people in need, among many other projects.

We have also liaised with the parties to ensure the safety of workers repairing critical civilian infrastructure damaged in the exchanges of fire, or to facilitate the provision of humanitarian assistance. We will continue to be here for the people – and to stand for peace – as long as it takes.

The danger of escalation is real. There is no military solution to the current confrontation and violence; a political and diplomatic solution is the only way forward. 

Regardless of faith or background, we urge all parties to embrace the spirit of unity and compassion that Eid represents, and seek the path of peace.