December 29, 2023 | Flash Brief

UN Peacekeeper Injured After Mob Attack on Convoy in Southern Lebanon

December 29, 2023 | Flash Brief

UN Peacekeeper Injured After Mob Attack on Convoy in Southern Lebanon

Latest Developments

The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) announced on December 28 that a group of young men attacked a convoy of UN peacekeepers in southern Lebanon, injuring an Indonesian soldier. According to a UNIFIL statement, the convoy had been moving through the village of Taybeh while on patrol on December 27 when it was blocked and attacked by men throwing rocks and hitting the vehicles with sticks. Reuters reported another incident on the morning of December 28, in which residents briefly blocked a peacekeeping convoy en route to UNIFIL’s eastern headquarters.

The clashes mirror an incident in December 2022, when an angry mob near the village of al-Aqbieh shot and killed an Irish soldier in an attack on a UNIFIL convoy traveling to Beirut.

Expert Analysis

“Since 2006, UNIFIL has been operating in south Lebanon under gradually strengthened mandates, and yet it has demonstrated little to no progress in constraining Hezbollah. This latest incident of violence against UNIFIL soldiers demonstrates once again that these peacekeepers are being put in harm’s way with a growing question mark over the utility of their presence.” David Daoud, FDD Senior Fellow

“The attack should put to rest the illusion that the UN or the Lebanese Army can rein in Hezbollah or guarantee the security of Israel’s northern border. Israel will have to rely on itself to defend its citizens, whether in the north or in the south.” Hussain Abdul-Hussain, FDD Research Fellow

UNIFIL Fails to Fulfill Mandate

UN Security Council Resolution 1701, adopted after the 2006 Israel-Lebanon War, tasked UNIFIL with assisting the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) in establishing a buffer zone on the Israel-Lebanon border. UNIFIL is supposed to keep that zone “free of any armed personnel, assets and weapons.” While its mandate asserts the peacekeepers’ right to patrol any site in its area of operation, the UN force voluntarily coordinates its patrols with the LAF, which in turn coordinates directly with Hezbollah. In an August 2023 letter to the Security Council, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said UNIFIL continues to face restrictions in its freedom of movement to locations of interest.

Despite UNIFIL, Hezbollah Continues to Escalate Tensions With Israel 

Despite UNIFIL’s presence, the Iran-backed terrorist organization Hezbollah has expanded its arsenal of rockets and other weapons, built tunnels into Israel, and established outposts on the Israel-Lebanon border. Since October 8, the day after Hamas’s massacre in southern Israel, Hezbollah has repeatedly clashed with Israeli forces. Hezbollah terrorists have attempted to infiltrate  Israeli territory and have attacked Israel’s northern communities with rockets, drones, and guided missiles. Israel has evacuated 80,000 people from northern border communities due to Hezbollah attacks. On December 27, Israeli officials said the country is poised to act against Hezbollah if the international community cannot find a diplomatic solution to stop the group’s attacks and remove it from the Israeli-Lebanese border.

As Hezbollah Escalates | Israel Should Consider a Ground Invasion of Lebanon,” by David Daoud

Hezbollah’s Provocations Wear Israel’s Patience Thin,” FDD Flash Brief

Hezbollah Fires Anti-Tank Missile at Church in Northern Israel,” FDD Flash Brief

Israel Open to Strengthened Lebanon Ceasefire,” FDD Flash Brief


Hezbollah International Organizations Israel Israel at War Lebanon