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Olmert credits Lebanese demilitarization

Ehud Olmert said Hezbollah was finding it difficult to recover from its war with Israel last summer. Playing down reports that Hezbollah was rearming apace, the Israeli prime minister said Wednesday that U.N. peacekeepers and Lebanese troops now deployed in the militia’s former strongholds were doing a good job of keeping the area demilitarized. “Soldiers of southern Lebanon and the international force make the life of Hezbollah almost intolerable in that part of the country,” Olmert told foreign reporters. “When they try to surface now, they are disarmed and arrested by the international force and the Lebanese force,” Olmert said. He said Hezbollah is trying to smuggle in new missiles to replenish its arsenal, but that this is offset by the militia’s difficulties in regrouping.