Israeli forces began to pull back from forward positions in the eastern sector of southern Lebanon on Tuesday (11 April).
Israeli forces began to pull back from forward positions in the eastern sector of southern Lebanon on Tuesday (11 April). They handed over seven strategic posts to Norwegian units of the United Nations peacekeeping force in the area. The Israeli government has made it clear, however, that it will not withdraw its forces completely until it considers that the UN force is effectively deployed, and capable of preventing Palestinian guerrilla activities.
SYNOPSIS: The fragile peace is bringing thousands of refugees back to their homes from the north, even though only half of the planned 4,000 UN troops have been deployed in Southern Lebanon so far.
It is estimated more than a quarter of a million people left their homes during the Israeli invasion. Most of them fled across the Litani river to the north. many of the homeless headed for the Lebanese capital of beirut, causing severe overcrowding.
United Nations troops carried out a search for any weapons before the refugees were allowed to proceed to what remains of their homes. Most of them live in the coastal area south of Tyre.
Some of the refugees used private cars. Others had to rely on buses provided by the government. This was the first big batch of refugees to return home since the end of the hostilities.
On Tuesday United Nations Secretary General Kurt Waldheim called on Israel to accelerate its withdrawal from southern lebanon in conformity with the Security Council resolution. Dr Waldheim said that israel had made only a limited withdrawal to date. " I have to express my concern at the slowness of the process", he said.