Middle East Bringing Home the Troops

Israel announces a step-by-step withdrawal from southern Lebanon

"The time has come. We can preserve our security and bring our boys home." So said Prime Minister Shimon Peres last week as he prepared for a test of strength within Israel's national unity government. Hours later Peres was triumphant, and Israel was embarked on a dramatic change of military course. By a 16-to-6 count, the Cabinet voted in favor of a unilateral, step-by-step withdrawal of an estimated 22,000 Israeli troops from southern Lebanon, with the first phase to get under way within five weeks. Other stages in the planned three-phase pullback will occur at Cabinet discretion, but the decision left...

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