Written answers

Thursday, 18 November 2021

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

United Nations

Photo of Gino KennyGino Kenny (Dublin Mid West, People Before Profit Alliance)
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129. To ask the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the status of Irish troops serving in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [56576/21]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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The UNIFIL mission in Lebanon continues to represent Ireland's largest overseas deployment and on 4 May 2021 the Government approved the continued participation of the Defence Forces in UNIFIL for a further 12 month period. The Irish contingent serves as part of a joint Ireland/Poland Battalion, with smaller numbers of additional personnel provided by both Hungary and Malta.

Ireland acts as lead Nation providing the battalion commanding officer and the larger troop and logistics contribution to the joint Battalion. The full cohort of personnel provided for as part Ireland's commitment to the joint Battalion, comprises three hundred and forty three personnel.

The Irish Battalion is based in Sector West of UNIFIL’s area of operations, with its primary base at Bint Jbeil in the vicinity of At Tiri in southern Lebanon. Two forward observation posts manned by the contingent are located on the ‘Blue Line’, which separates Lebanon and Israel. The Battalion conducts operational tasks on a daily basis, which include the provision of security, vehicle and foot patrols, checkpoints, establishing and occupying temporary observation posts and liaison/engagement with local leaders. In addition, joint operations are conducted with units of the Lebanese Armed Forces deployed in the UNIFIL area of operations.

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