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1. The present report provides a comprehensive assessment of the implementation of Security Council resolution 1701 (2006) since my last report of 27 February 2013 (S/2013/120).
II. Implementation of resolution 1701 (2006)
A. Situation in the UNIFIL area of operations
17. Due to multiple security responsibilities elsewhere in Lebanon, in March the Lebanese Armed Forces temporarily redeployed additional troops from the UNIFIL area of operations to the vicinities of Sidon and Nabatiyeh, just north of the Litani River. This brought the total strength of the Lebanese Armed Forces presence in the UNIFIL area of operations to approximately two brigades, which were reorganized along the general operational boundaries of UNIFIL’s two sectors. The Lebanese Armed Forces Command reassured UNIFIL that it would return units of the Lebanese Armed Forces to the UNIFIL area of operations should the security situation warrant. In line with that commitment, the Lebanese Armed Forces temporarily reinforced its presence by quickly deploying two companies to the area in advance of and during the Palestinian commemoration day on 15 May.
18. Despite the decreased physical presence of the Lebanese Armed Forces in the UNIFIL area of operations, both Forces continued their daily coordinated operational activities, co-locating checkpoints, including seven along the Litani River, and coordinating patrolling and joint training exercises. UNIFIL and the Lebanese Armed Forces continued to carry out joint counter-rocket launching operations, which were increased in the aftermath of the reported air strikes in the Syrian Arab Republic on 3 and 5 May and the firing of rockets in south Beirut on 26 May, as well as during the Palestinian commemorations on 30 March, 15 May and 5 June. The Lebanese Armed Forces established a permanent observation post near the Wazzani River to prevent violations of the Blue Line that have been prevalent in the past, particularly during the tourist season. UNIFIL continued to carry out regular helicopter patrols in its area of operations.
D. Arms embargo and border control
42. Increasing tension was observed within Palestinian refugee camps as a result of security incidents (although they have been successfully contained), overcrowding, competition for employment, rising prices and other factors resulting from the increasing number of refugees displaced from the Syrian Arab Republic. The total number of Palestine refugees from the Syrian Arab Republic who have approached the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in Lebanon is now 61,500. This figure is projected to reach 80,000 by the end of 2013.
68. It is important that leaders in the Palestinian camps continue to work together and with the Lebanese authorities to maintain order. The need to improve the living conditions of Palestine refugees in Lebanon, without prejudice to the resolution of the refugee question and the context of a comprehensive peace settlement, is ever more urgent as the Palestine refugee camps are increasingly overcrowded as a result of the growing numbers of Palestine refugees displaced from the Syrian Arab Republic. I encourage donors to be forthcoming in support of UNRWA, including to enable it to effectively assist displaced Palestine refugees from the Syrian Arab Republic.