August 12, 2006

Israel to start pullout within 2 weeks: Web site

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - The Israeli army will begin pulling
out of southern Lebanon, where they have been fighting
Hizbollah guerrillas in a major offensive, within a week or
two, the Israeli Web site YNET News reported on Sunday.

The Web site quoted a senior official in Israeli Prime
Minister Ehud Olmert's office as saying Israeli troops would
start withdrawing from the territory after the first
international forces and the Lebanese army arrive in the area.

Israeli officials had no immediate comment on the report.

Israeli cabinet ministers said on Saturday that the army
would quit south Lebanon when U.N. troops moved in to enforce a
ceasefire, as directed by a U.N. Security Council resolution.
Israel's government is set to vote on the decision on Sunday.

A U.N. envoy said earlier the United Nations expected the
Israeli assault to wind down in one to two days and an expanded
international force to begin deploying in a week to 10 days.

Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said the army would
halt offensive operations in Lebanon on Monday.

Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz said Israel would
continue to engage Hizbollah in areas where the military was
operating if troops were attacked.