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ARABS-UN - Aug. 5 - Peacekeepers Complete Deployment.

UN peacekeepers complete their deployment along the Lebanese-Israeli border. The troops cruised without incident along the border fence that has been the most violent front of the Arab-Israeli conflict for more than 20 years. (The deployment clears the way for Lebanon to station its own troops in the former Israeli-occupied zone.) Lebanese Interior Minister Murr says a force of 1,000 soldiers and police officers were poised to enter the zone early Aug. 7. Murr says the force would maintain law and order in the former occupied zone, but not security along the border, adding that it was the duty of the UN peacekeepers. (Lebanon has repeatedly refused to send troops to its southern border, saying it does not want to serve as guards for Israel.) Murr says the Lebanese force would not tolerate armed guerrillas in the former occupied zone.

In Jerusalem, Israeli PM Barak welcomes the UN deployment, issuing a statement that he hoped it would "bring stability and security to the area" and allow Israelis living near the border to lead normal lives. In announcing the deployment on Aug. 4, the UN said the main aim would be to "instil confidence among the local inhabitants". (UN troops had taken up position at 6 points along the border in the past 2 weeks, but Lebanon had refused to allow them to deploy fully until its cartographers were satisfied that Israel was no longer violating the international border.) Around 550 UN troops are now in the zone. The remainder of the force is stationed to the north and will send more troops to reinforce the new positions.
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Publication:APS Diplomat Recorder
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:7ISRA
Date:Aug 5, 2000
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