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 Damage Assessments
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Posted on: 9/14/2006 12:32:00 PM

United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) 2006-08-15

UNIFIL via BBS News 2006-08-15 -- Naqoura, Lebanon. UNIFIL carried out intensive patrolling during the night and this morning throughout its area of operation to assess the situation on the ground and to monitor the cessation of hostilities.

There were no reports of incidents or breaches of the agreement in the UNIFIL area of operations until 1300 hours today since the agreement on the cessation of hostilities came into effect yesterday morning. The parties have ceased firing into the territory of or at the other side, and there were no attempts to occupy any additional territory.

The IDF has maintained their presence inside Lebanese territory in different areas. There were no significant changes in the position or strength of their forces.

UNIFIL continued contact with both the Lebanese Army and the Israeli Army with a view to facilitating an early withdrawal of the Israeli Army and the deployment of the Lebanese Armed Forces in the south.

UNIFIL made first assessments of the damage to the civilian infrastructure in the eastern part of the central sector of its area of operation. In the village of Tayyabah 80% of the civilian houses have been destroyed, 50% in the villages of Markaba and Qantarah, 30% in Mays al Jabal, 20% in Hula, and15% in Talusha. In addition, the bridge at Ain Arab, and the bridge over theLitani River in the area of Al Qusair have been completely destroyed.

UNIFIL de-mining team from the Chinese contingent conducted controlled explosions of 36 unexploded ordinances in the general area of Kafr Kila, and two in the vicinity of the Ras Naqoura border crossing on the Mediterranean coast.

The IDF handed over to UNIFIL one elderly Lebanese civilian at the Ras Naqoura crossing yesterday. This move was coordinated with the Lebanese authorities. UNIFIL handed them over to the Lebanese authorities. UNIFIL has been providing medical assistance and water to a number of local villages in its area of operations.

The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) was created in 1978 as an interim force to observe the Israeli withdrawal in Lebanon. On March 11th, 1978 Palestinian Liberation Organizations militants claimed responsibility for an attack that killed and wounded many Israelis. As a result, Israel invaded southern Lebanon proceeding to occupy much of the south of the country.

According to a UNIFIL document and showing that the UN Security Council acted with dispatch in the matter during 1978: "On 19 March, the Council adopted resolutions 425 (1978) and 426 (1978), in which it called upon Israel immediately to cease its military action and withdraw its forces from all Lebanese territory. It also decided on the immediate establishment of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). The first UNIFIL troops arrived in the area on 23 March 1978."

Israel largely withdrew from Lebanon in 2000 but repeated violations by both sides documented by UNIFIL, especially during 2005 and early 2006 led to increased tensions. This coupled with the Israeli incursion into Gaza devolved into a fierce confrontation between militants and Israeli forces in July 2006.

These dispatches from UNIFIL offer an impartial glimpse into what is happening on the ground in Lebanon. (BBC News)


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