Israel: May 25, 2000

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Israeli aircraft attacked Hezbollah units  in southern Lebanon  to protect withdrawing Israeli units. At least four Hezbollah fighters were killed. Other Hezbollah and civilians were wounded when they wandered into Israeli minefields around abandoned Israeli bases. Israel has also deployed over a thousand additional troops to northern Israel in case of new problems with Hezbollah or Amal militants in south Lebanon. Apparently, some 1,500 of the 2,500 SLA members did not flee when Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon, but instead turned themselves to Lebanese or Hezbollah authorities. These SLA members apparently feel that they will not face severe punishment for their pro-Israeli activities. This remains to be seen, although so far is appears that the Lebanese, and especially Hezbollah, are willing to be merciful. The other thousand SLA militiamen, and four thousand of their family members, have fled to Israel. There they have received one year residency permits. This gives the Israelis time to find other nations willing to take in the SLA refugees. Many SLA families already have relatives living in America and Europe and Israel hopes to get permission to send the SLA refugees off to these areas.

 

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