Italian officer to command UN peacekeeping force on Israel’s border with Lebanon

An Italian officer has been tapped by the UN to assume command of UNIFIL, a peacekeeping force on the border between Lebanon and Israel.

By: AP

An Italian army officer has assumed the command of the UN peacekeeping mission in Lebanon that’s tasked with keeping a fragile peace along the Lebanon-Israel frontier.

Maj.-Gen. Stefano Dal Col takes over from outgoing Irish army Maj.-Gen. Michael Beary as the new head of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, known as UNIFIL.

The force has more than 10,000 troops deployed in southern Lebanon.

The transfer of authority took place on Tuesday at a ceremony at the UNIFIL headquarters in Naqoura, in south Lebanon.

Beary, in his farewell speech, urged both Lebanese and Israelis to be courageous and head toward a diplomatic dialogue of peace.

Lebanon and Israel are technically at war and fought a destructive monthlong war in 2006. Disagreements remain over the borderline.