JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres that Iran is using Syria and Lebanon “as warfronts against its declared goal to eradicate Israel.”
Iran is “building sites to produce precision-guided missiles towards that end in both Syria and in Lebanon. This is something Israel cannot accept. This is something the UN should not accept,” Netanyahu told Guterres Monday prior to their meeting in Jerusalem.
Netanyahu also told Guterres that the UN was failing to prevent Hezbollah from obtaining arms, a mandate that was part of the UN Security Council Resolution 1701 passed at the end of the Second Lebanon War in 2006. The prime minister charged that the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, or UNIFIL, has not reported one of the “tens of thousands of weapons smuggling into Lebanon for Hezbollah.”
Guterres responded that he will “do everything in my capacity” to ensure UNIFIL fulfills its obligations.
He also said: “I understand the security concerns of Israel and I repeat that the idea or the intention or the will to destroy the state of Israel is something totally unacceptable from my perspective.”
Guterres asked Netanyahu that Israel help improve the Palestinian economy, as a way to show the Palestinians that making peace with Israel will pay.