I propose to take Questions Nos. 1 and 84 together.
Since 1 November 1991 firings close to positions occupied by Irish troops in Lebanon have occurred on 56 occasions. Most of these incidents, as well as the shooting which occurred on 15 November 1991 and which resulted in the death of an Irish soldier and the wounding of another Irish soldier, have been attributed to thede facto forces.
As indicated to the House on 4 December last, the Minister for Foreign Affairs met the Israeli Ambassador to Ireland on 19 November 1991 and expressed the Government's deep sense of shock and anger at this outrageous incident. Assurances were sought regarding the control of thede facto forces, the steps necessary to prevent a recurrence, and the action which was intended to punish the perpetrators.
Arising out of the undertaking given by my predecessor to the House on 4 December last, he subsequently wrote to the Israeli Minister for Defence conveying the strong condemnation of the Government and the House of the activities of thede facto forces in this grave incident and in other recent firings. He asked the Israeli Minister to indicate what action will be taken to curtail the activities of the de facto forces and bring to justice those responsible for the death of the Irish soldier. A reply has not yet been received.