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Israel Lifts Naval Blockade of Lebanon


Israel has lifted a two-month sea blockade of Lebanon that it imposed at the start of its war with Hezbollah guerrillas.

An Israeli government spokeswoman confirmed that the sea blockade ended today.

The commander of U.N. forces in Lebanon, Major General Alain Pellegrini, said Israel lifted the sea blockade as an international naval force began patrolling the Lebanese coastline. Pellegrini said the blockade seriously undermined the Lebanese economy, and needed to be lifted to allow people to get back to their business.

Israel lifted its air blockade of Lebanon on Thursday.

It imposed the blockade to prevent Hezbollah from getting arms supplies from Iran through Syria. A U.N.-mandated ceasefire ended the war last month.

Israeli officials also said today the last Israeli ground troops in southern Lebanon should leave within two weeks as U.N. peacekeepers deploy to the area.

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