1. Establishment of UN Mission. In the early 1970s, tension along the Israel-Lebanon border increased, especially after the relocation of Palestinian armed elements from Jordan to Lebanon. Palestinian commando operations against Israel and Israeli reprisals against Palestinian bases in Lebanon intensified. On 11 March 1978, a commando attack in Israel resulted in many casualties among the Israeli population; the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) claimed responsibility for that raid. In response, Israeli forces invaded Lebanon on the night of 14/15 March ‘78, and occupied the entire southern part of the country except for the city of Type and its surrounding areas.
2. On 15 March 1978, the Lebanese Government submitted a strong protest to the Security Council against the Israeli invasion, stating that it had no connection with the Palestinian operation. 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.
3. July War and Expansion of UNIFIL. The July War of Lebanon lasted from 12 July - 14 August 06.
4. On 11 August 2006, the Security Council, following intense negotiations, passed resolution 1701 calling for a full cessation of hostilities.
5. The Council extended the mandate of UNIFIL through the end of August 2007, and increased its troop strength (about 2,000 troops as of August 2006) to a maximum of 15,000 troops.
Indian Battalion in UNIFIL
6. India became a Troop Contributing Country (TCC) to UNIFIL in 1998 and till now thirteen infantry battalions have had the honour to serve in Lebanon. 26 PUNJAB is the 15th battalion and is referred to as Indian Battalion - XV in the UNIFIL environment. The Battalion Group is a part of Sector East which is a Brigade Group sized formation with the Headquarter component being provided by Spain and staffed by officers from the various contingents serving in Sector East, that is India, Nepal, Indonesia and Malaysia.
7. The mandate laid down for UNIFIL is governed by successive UN Resolutions passed. They are highlighted in the succeeding paragraphs.
8. UN Resolution 425 and 426.
(a) Strong support for sovereignty and territorial integrity of Lebanon.
(b) Withdrawal of all non-Lebanese Forces from Lebanon.
(c) Importance of free and fair election without foreign interference or influence.
(d) Calls for disbanding and disarmament of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias.
11. UNSCR 1701 (2006). Adopted by the Security Council at its 5511th meeting, on 11 August 2006. In addition to carrying out its mandate under Resolution 425 and 426 (1978) :-
(a) Monitor the cessation of hostilities.
(b) Accompany and support the Lebanese armed forces.
(c) Coordinate its activities with the Government of Lebanon and Israel.
(d) Extend its assistance to help ensure humanitarian access to civilian populations and the voluntary and safe return of displaced persons.
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