TEL AVIV (Jul. 10)
Israeli forces have withdrawn from two areas on the outskirts of Beirut, but army sources insist this is not part of a planned redeployment of the Israel Defense Force in Lebanon.
The sources said Israeli patrols had left the Monteverde and Ein Sa ade areas and have handed these over to the Lebanese army as part of a “routine shift” in the position of forces. The army is putting the finishing touches on plans for a major redeployment of forces.
The first withdrawal, which may take place within a few days, will be from the immediate Beirut area to near the town of Damour just south of the capital. At a later stage Israeli forces will withdraw to a new defense line along the Awali River just north of Sidon.
The line will run along the river in a generally northern direction, leaving the Jebel Barukh high ground overlooking the Syrian positions in the Bekaa valley in Israeli hands. But the new line will mean that the Israelis will be leaving the Shoufmountain area where Druze and Christian Phalangists and militia have recently been battling each other.