Middle East Heading Home

Israel leaves the Bekaa

At 5:57 a.m., the order came over the radio: the last Israeli soldiers on 6,450-ft. Mount Baruk and along the once fortified slopes of Lebanon's Bekaa Valley were to mount their tanks and armored personnel carriers and head south. There came a shout: "To the trucks!" A whoop rose from the troops, and with that the Israeli army began withdrawing from the southeast sector of Lebanon, where 8,000 Israeli soldiers had faced 30,000 Syrians since the 1982 Israeli invasion.

As the troops left, villagers sang and danced in the streets, showering Lebanese soldiers with rice and flowers as they moved in....

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