Netanyahu: UNIFIL needs to ‘do tougher job’ against Hezbollah

UNIFIL needs to do better against Hezbollah in Lebanon, Netanyahu said, Wednesday.

By World Israel News Staff

“We think UNIFIL has to do a stronger job, tougher job,” against Hezbollah, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said while meeting Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini at the prime minister’s office in Jerusalem, Wednesday.

“You had the opportunity to see the terror tunnels yourself directly. This is a clear act of aggression of Hezbollah against us and against the norms of the international community,” Netanyahu said.

“You have a commander in UNIFIL, an Italian commander,” Netanyahu said, referring to Major General Stefano Del Col.

Salvini visited Israel’s north on Tuesday, where he toured the area where the Israel Defense Forces had uncovered Hezbollah tunnels. Salvini referred to Hezbollah as “terrorists,” which angered members of the Five-Star Movement, the leading party in the the Italian government’s ruling coalition.

“It is strange to read in the Italian press that some people were shocked when I called Islamist terrorists by name,” Salvini said in a video on his Facebook page. “Let us give our words the correct weight. If we don’t define our adversary – I do not say enemy but adversary – then we can never win this game.”

Salvini, leader of The League party, a minority member of Italy’s right-wing government, has made strong statements in favor of Israel and expressed the view that Jerusalem should be recognized as Israel’s capital. Salvini has also praised Israel’s role in combating Islamist extremism and terrorism.

Israel is split over right-wing European leaders such as Salvini, who has made statements in the past praising Italian Dictator Benito Mussolini. The divide became evident during Salvini’s visit this week when Israeli President Reuven Rivlin chose not to meet with him, citing scheduling conflicts.

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In the meeting, however, Netanyahu described Salvini as “a great friend of Israel.”