Israel: May 23, 2000

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Another 80 South Lebanon Army (SLA, pro-Israeli militia) have surrendered to Lebanese or Hezbollah.  So many border posts have been abandoned that Lebanese refugees are returning to their villages in the rapidly disintegrating Israeli controlled south Lebanon. On the Israeli border, families of SLA members are being allowed in on foot. There have been no retribution attacks reported, and Hezbollah appears to be on it's best behavior.  While Israel originally planned to be out of south Lebanon by July 1st, they recently moved the date to June 1st. But with the SLA desertions, Israel is getting out as quickly as it can ("within days" as the government put it, although the official words is ten days.). Israel has also warned that it will come back into Lebanon in strength if Lebanon is used as a base for attacks on Israel. 

 

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