Ukraine is planning to send a peacekeeping contingent to the conflict zone in Lebanon, the defense minister said Saturday, according to RIA Novosti.

      "We are ready to consider the possibility of sending to Lebanon a mechanized infantry battalion, or a combat engineers or material support battalion, or a military police company. We have this capability," Anatoliy Hrytsenko said.

      He said the final decision had not been made because Ukraine was consulting with the UN on the issue.

      Israeli military operations in Lebanon began July 12 after the radical Islamic group Hizbollah killed three Israeli servicemen and captured two others in a cross-border raid.

      The UN has deployed troops in southern Lebanon to enforce the August 14 truce and eventually hopes to increase it to 15,000, mainly through EU contributions.

      Before the truce, Israeli military operations claimed the lives of about 1,000 Lebanese civilians, forced nearly a quarter of the country`s population to flee their homes, and demolished large parts of the country`s infrastructure.