The United Nations Security Council unanimously voted to renew the mandate for a peacekeeping mission in Lebanon on Wednesday, following tense negotiations amid US and Israeli criticism that UN troops should do more to stop Hezbollah from receiving arms shipments.

The UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) – established in 1978 – patrols Lebanon’s southern border with Israel.

Washington regards Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation.

The peacekeeping force’s mission was expanded by UN Security Council resolution 1701, which ended the Israeli war on Lebanon in 2006.

The UN-backed ceasefire agreement increased the number of UNIFIL troops from 2,000 to more than 10,000. The resolution also called for a buffer zone free of “any armed personnel” south of Lebanon’s Litani River, about 20km from the Israeli border.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Washington wanted the French-drafted resolution to renew UNIFIL’s mandate to “ensure UNIFIL is doing its job to the fullest extent possible.”

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