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Ban slams Hezbollah in report

Hezbollah is undermining the U.N.-brokered cease-fire that ended the 2006 Lebanon war, the U.N. secretary-general said.

"Hezbollah’s maintenance of a major armed component and a paramilitary infrastructure separate from the state, including a secure network of communication, which the group itself deems an integral part of its arsenal, is a direct challenge to the authority of the government of Lebanon and its security forces and prevents their exclusive control over the entire territory of Lebanon," Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his report to the U.N. Security Council on compliance with U.N. resolutions aimed at bringing stability to Lebanon.

"I therefore reiterate my call on Hezbollah to comply with all relevant Security Council resolutions, and urge all parties which maintain close ties with Hezbollah and have the ability to influence it, in particular Syria and Iran, to support its transformation into a political party proper," Ban said in the report released Thursday and obtained by Israel’s daily Ha’aretz.

Ban also said continued arms smuggling across the border with Syria violates the terms of the resolution that ended the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah.

"Preventing breaches of the arms embargo is a critical element for strengthening Lebanon’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, unity and political independence," Ban said. "I remain concerned by the general porosity of the Syrian-Lebanese border."

The report also reprimanded Israel and Hezbollah for escalating verbal threats and Israel for its overflights of South Lebanon.

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