Israel Begins Pulling Some Troops Out of Lebanon as Cease-Fire Begins
"UNIFIL has gone through several incarnations. It now has a rather restricted mandate, it is only composed of 2,000 men. But it will be increased up to 15,000 and it will have a robust capacity to assist the government of Lebanon to carry out its responsibilities...The important point is that it is the government of Lebanon who will be taking on this responsibility and that is an important new step."
- Alvaro de Soto, the U.N. special envoy to the Middle East
Jerusalem - Israel has begun withdrawing some troops from Lebanon, shortly after a U.N.-mediated cease-fire - to end more than a month of fighting - went into effect Monday at 0500 UTC.
Israeli commanders halted offensive operations in Lebanon as the cease-fire took effect at 8:00 a.m. local time. And early Monday, some Israeli troops began withdrawing from Lebanon, although a military spokesman says the bulk of the force will remain in the country until a new United Nations peacekeeping force arrives.