Israeli aircraft continue to strafe and bomb targets in southern Lebanon. On the ground, rival?
Israeli aircraft continue to strafe and bomb targets in southern Lebanon. On the ground, rival forces, Christian and Moslem, left and right-wing, still attack one another with guns and words. In the middle of all this the United Nations Interim Peace Keeping Force (UNIFIL) tries to hold the sides apart and reduce the level of fighting. Among the five thousand eight hundred soldiers from eight countries who make up the interim force are a contingent from Holland.
SYNOPSIS: These troops man a checkpoint in Baiyada, about fifteen kilometres (about nine miles) southeast of the sea port of Tyre. It is about the same distance form the Israeli border, in an area that often comes under attack by Israeli forces. Late last month the U.N. forces were caught up in exchange between Israeli-backed right-wing Christian militia and Palestinian forces.
The United Nations troops recently had their mandate to remain here extended until December of this year. It is a difficult job, caught in the middle of civil conflict between Lebanese factions with the added ingredient of air and ground attacks from across the border.
The Israelis refuse to allow the U.N. forces to patrol right up to their border. There, an eight-kilometre (five mile) zone is controlled by Christian forces.
The work involves constant checking and patrolling. In spite of an unofficial cease-fire it is not always peaceful. Just two days before this was filmed, two Fijian soldiers serving near the Dutch contingent were wounded. Often during the night the U.N. positions are fired on. Meanwhile, Palestinian leaders are urging their forces to move further north. They fear their continued presence in the south could provoke another Israeli invasion.