This term refers to the United Nations Interim Force for Southern Lebanon (UNIFIL) created by the Security Council in the aftermath of the Israeli “Operation Litani” (3/78) to:
confirm Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon;
restore international peace and security; and
assist the Lebanese Government in restoring its effective authority in the area.
UNIFIL is tasked with seeking to maintain a ceasefire along the 121 km United Nations “Blue Line” dividing Israel (and the Golan Heights) and southern Lebanon, by patrolling, observing, reporting violations and liaising with the parties.
Following the partial Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon (6/85), its activities have centered on monitoring military activity between Hizbullah and the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) with the aim of reducing tensions and allaying continuing low-level armed conflict. UNIFIL has also played a role in providing humanitarian assistance.
Following the Second Lebanese War (7-8/06) between Hizbullah and Israel, the Security Council decided (see Resolution 1701) to expand UNIFIL’s mandate and troop size up to 15,000 soldiers.