ARABS-UN - June 10 - Team Resumes Work On S. Lebanon Border.
Also on June 9, Lebanese protesters stoned a UN team working to verify the border on the Israeli side of the fence. Residents of the Arab village of Ghajar, which was sliced in half by the new line, have threatened to evict peacekeepers. (The 9-nation UN Interim Force in Lebanon, comprising 4,500 peacekeepers, has been deployed in parts of the south since 1978. But its deployment to the border was hindered by the security zone Israel established in 1985 to protect its northern communities from cross-border guerrilla raids. Meanwhile, the state-run 'NNA' reported late June 9 that the Lebanese government plans to form a strike force of 1,000 army and police troops to maintain security in areas vacated by the Israeli army. It said 500 army soldiers would be drawn from anti-terrorism and anti-espionage units as well as military police. The report said the rest of the force will be made up of 500 Internal Security policemen and will be under Interior Ministry command. (Although the Lebanese army presence will be small, its deployment will be the government's 1st firm step to take control of the former security zone, where Shiite guerrillas have moved in to fill the vacuum, rounding up suspected pro-Israeli militiamen with little intervention from authorities. Hundreds of police officers, State Security and military intelligence agents have been sent to the area, but they have stayed away from the border where civilians have been throwing stones at Israeli soldiers on the other side of the fence.) The Lebanese government says it will not send army combat units to the border because it is not Israel's policeman. (Lebanon has said border security will be guaranteed when Israel negotiates peace with Arab states including Syria.
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|Publication:||APS Diplomat Recorder|
|Article Type:||Brief Article|
|Date:||Jun 10, 2000|
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