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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Is there a deal between Hezbullah and the Lebanese government?

The Washington Post is reporting this morning that there is not a deal yet between Hezbullah and the Lebanese government, although it sounds like there will be one shortly:
The makings of a compromise emerged from all-day meetings in Beirut, according to senior officials involved in the negotiations, and Prime Minister Fouad Siniora scheduled a cabinet session Wednesday for what he hoped would be formal approval of the deal. Hezbollah indicated it would be willing to pull back its fighters and weapons in exchange for a promise from the army not to probe too carefully for underground bunkers and weapons caches, the officials said.

Hasan Nasrallah, the Hezbollah leader, had insisted that any disarmament of his militia -- even in the border area -- should be handled in longer-term discussions within the Lebanese government, according to government ministers. But the Lebanese army, backed by key political leaders, refused to send troops into the just-becalmed battle zone until Hezbollah's missiles, rockets and other weapons were taken north of the Litani River, the ministers said.


The number of Hezbollah fighters in the border zone also was unclear, largely because the movement keeps its presence secret and many militia members are local residents who take up arms only when called on by their leaders. Their departure has not been envisaged, Lebanese officials said, and only the militia's officers and their weapons must be pulled back north of the Litani as part of the U.N. cease-fire.
In other words, the terror infrastructure will remain in place (they're certainly not going to dismantle the rocket launcher rooms in all the houses in southern Lebanon), waiting for the next round. But 'twas a famous victory.


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