TEL AVIV (Aug. 25)
The army is keeping completely secret all details of the date of its redeployment from the Shouf mountain area of Lebanon to its new line along the Awali River. Gen. Moshe Levy, the Chief of Staff, said last week that the move would begin “within a matter of days” and be completed in one operation, within a short period.
The Israel Defense Force has denied an earlier report from Beirut that the withdrawal would begin next Sunday and be completed by the eve of Rosh Hashanah.
Today the IDF declined any comment on a report this morning that the IDF had agreed to a 72-hour postponement, to allow the Lebanese army more time to arrange to take over from the withdrawing Israelis to avoid a clash between warring Druze and Christian Phalangists in the mountain area where Druze villages are situated close to and alongside Christian villages.
The redeployment is not far off, however. IDF soldiers in the area are no longer living under conditions of any comfort but are back on a “front-line wartime condition” — sleeping on the ground and eating battle rations — as everything movable, including beds and kitchens, are already in their new positions along the Awali River.