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Naqoura, Lebanon

Naqoura (Enn Nâqoura, Naqoura, An Nāqūrah) is a small city in southern Lebanon. Approximate population for 7 km radius from this point is 24,910. Since March 23, 1978 until present, the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in Lebanon has been headquartered in Naqoura. UNIFIL was set up with the mandate to confirm the withdrawal of Israeli forces from southern Lebanon, to restore international peace and security and to assist the Government of Lebanon in ensuring the return of its effective authority in the area. Until now, however, it has not been possible for UNIFIL to carry out in full its original mandate.


United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL)

The United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon, or UNIFIL (FINUL in French), was created by the United Nations, with the adoption of Security Council Resolution 425 and 426 on 19 March, 1978, to confirm Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon (following its incursion a few days earlier in Operation Litani), restore the international peace and security, and help the Lebanese Government restore its effective authority in the area. The first UNIFIL troops arrived in the area on 23 March, 1978; these troops were reassigned from other UN peacekeeping operations in the area (namely UNEF and UNDOF).

When Israel invaded Lebanon again in 1982 (Operation Peace for Galilee), U.N. positions were overrun. During the occupation, UNIFIL's function was mainly the provision of food and aid to locals in Southern Lebanon. Beginning in 1985, Israel scaled back its permanent positions in Lebanon, although this process was punctuated by brief invasions and bombings, as in the 1993 Operation Accountability and the 1996 Operation Grapes of Wrath. In 1999, it undertook a full withdrawal, which concluded in 2000 and enabled UNIFIL to resume its military tasks. The Syrian and Lebanese governments claim that the Shebaa Farms area, which Israel and others in the international community view as part of the occupied Golan Heights, is Lebanese territory. In their view, gives continued legal sanction to armed anti-Israeli groups in Lebanon (though the UN has officially certified that Israel has fully withdrawn from all areas it occupied after 1973).


Current Operation

UNIFIL is currently primarily deployed along the U.N. drawn Blue Line dividing Israel (and the Israeli Golan Heights) and southern Lebanon. Its activities have centered around monitoring military activity between Hezbollah and the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) with the aim of reducing tensions and allaying continuing low-level armed conflict. UNIFIL has also played an important role in clearing landmines, assisting displaced persons, and providing humanitarian assistance in this underdeveloped region.

UNIFIL forces have fallen out of favor in Israel and claims that little regard has been given to their safety by the IDF following accusations that it was complicit in a fatal abduction of IDF soldiers in October 2000. Suspicions persist although the UN has published a report denying complicity. Israel is lobbying for UNIFIL to either take a more active role vis-a-vis Hezbollah (for example, preventing Hezbollah from setting up military posts adjacent to UNIFIL's in the hope this will deter Israel from attacking them), or to step out of the region (thereby voiding the Lebanese government's excuse for not deploying its army along the border).

UNIFIL currently employs some 2000 soldiers, 50 UNTSO observers and 400 civilians. The force includes troops from Ghana, Poland, India, France, Ukraine, Italy and Ireland. Its annual budget is about US$100 million. UNIFIL is led by French Major General Alain Pellegrini, formerly French military attache in Beirut and head of the mideast division of the French military intelligence.

To date UNIFIL has suffered over 250 fatalities during the course of its deployment.


Naqoura Neighborhood

Villages of the Naqoura area:

Sour, Tyre, Nabatieh, Alma el Chaab, Marwahin, Dhaira, Yarine, Al Bustan, Alma Al Chaab, Rmeich, Bint Jbeil, etc








Information From the Ministry of Tourism

Lebanese Ministry of Tourism

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