Reporting period from 30 October 2012 to 28 February 2013
The present report provides a comprehensive assessment of the implementation of Security Council resolution 1701 (2006) since my previous report of 14 November 2012 (S/2012/837).
Against the backdrop of the situation in the Syrian Arab Republic, the cessation of hostilities between Israel and Lebanon continued to hold and the situation south of the Litani River and along the Blue Line generally remained stable. Although there was no substantive progress towards implementation of their respective outstanding obligations under resolution 1701 (2006), the parties maintained their commitment to the resolution. During the reporting period, both parties sought to reassure the other, through the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), that they did not wish to see any resumption of hostilities and, in some instances, sought to develop further security and liaison arrangements with UNIFIL.
Nevertheless, unidentified armed groups twice attempted to launch rockets from Lebanon into northern Israel, coinciding with the timing of the conflict in the Gaza Strip and southern Israel from 14 to 21 November 2012. UNIFIL and the Lebanese Armed Forces responded to the outbreak of hostilities by enhancing their coordinated activities in the UNIFIL area of operations.
The President of Lebanon, Michel Sleiman, visited UNIFIL headquarters in Naqoura on 18 January 2013 to express appreciation for the work of UNIFIL and highlight the partnership between the Lebanese Armed Forces and UNIFIL in the implementation of resolution 1701 (2006).
Violent incidents continued to occur across the Lebanese-Syrian border during the reporting period, although casualties decreased substantially. At least three Lebanese citizens, including a child, were killed by shots fired from the Syrian Arab Republic, while forces of the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic were responsible for further incidents of cross-border shelling that caused material damage. The Lebanese Armed Forces reported continued smuggling of weapons destined for the Syrian Arab Republic. Members of a group of fighters crossing from Lebanon into the Syrian Arab Republic were reported to have been killed by forces of the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic near the Syrian town of Tal Kalakh. The Syrian authorities returned 10 bodies for burial in Lebanon. Nine of the pilgrims abducted on 22 May 2012 in the Syrian Arab Republic remain detained.