Six months after the opening of Hezbollah’s so-called “support front” for Gaza in south Lebanon, UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Joanna Wronecka and UNIFIL’s Commander Aroldo Lázaro deplored in a joint statement on Monday that “violence and suffering has gone on too long.”

“It must stop,” the statement hammered, urgently appealing “to all sides to recommit to the cessation of hostilities under the framework of resolution 1701 and avail of all avenues to avoid further escalation while there is still space for diplomacy.”

“Six months have passed since the exchanges of fire across the Blue Line began, and continue unabated, taking a heavy toll on both sides,” the statement said, adding, “It is also imperative to focus anew on the overarching objective of a permanent ceasefire and long-term solution to the conflict.”

“A political process, anchored in the full implementation of Resolution 1701, is now more crucial than ever to address the root causes of the conflict and ensure long-term stability. The United Nations stands ready to support such efforts,” the statement stressed.

It also pointed out that the lives of thousands of people have been profoundly affected, and tens of civilians have tragically lost their lives while many more have lost their homes, their livelihoods and any sense of certainty for the future.

The statement noted that the unrelenting cycle of strikes and counterstrikes constitute “the most serious violation of Security Council Resolution 1701 since its adoption in 2006.”