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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Israel to Withdraw All Troops

JERUSALEM -- Israel's military chief said Tuesday that Israel planned to withdraw all remaining troops from Lebanon by this weekend, meeting a key requirement of a cease-fire that ended its recent 34-day war against Hezbollah.

The withdrawal would end a more than two-month troop presence in Lebanon and complete the transfer of security responsibilities along the border to the Lebanese army and a beefed-up UN peacekeeping force.

Israel invaded Lebanon on July 12, after Hezbollah guerrillas crossed the border, killed three Israeli soldiers and kidnapped two others. Since the Aug. 14 cease-fire went into effect, Israel has been slowly withdrawing troops but has said the pullout will not be completed until the peacekeeping force is strong enough to secure the border and prevent Hezbollah from rearming.

Israeli Lieutenant General Dan Halutz told a closed meeting of the parliamentary Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that all remaining troops would leave by the start of the Jewish New Year at sundown on Friday, committee member Ran Cohen said. "He told me that this afternoon there is a meeting between the Lebanese forces and the UN forces and, if everything is OK, then all Israeli soldiers will be out of Lebanon by the eve of the holiday," Cohen said.

Under the UN-brokered cease-fire, a 15,000-strong UN force is to be deploy in the south to assist the Lebanese army in maintaining the cessation of hostilities.