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Shooting of Hizbollah fighters highlights truce's fragility

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Shooting of Hizbollah fighters highlights truce's fragility

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While on the whole the guns have fallen silent, the shooting of two Hizbollah guerrillas by Israeli troops on Monday highlighted the fragility of a truce.

Some Israeli soldiers have returned home from southern Lebanon but thousands remain. They will stay there until foreign peacekeepers and Lebanese troops are deployed.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has acknowledged what he calls “shortcomings” in the way the war has been carried out, saying he bears full responsibility.

However, in a stormy session in parliament, he hit out at critics, saying he has no intention of apologising.

He said Israel will keep pursuing Hizbollah leaders and reserves the right to respond to any truce violations.

Three opposition lawmakers were removed from the session in the Knesset for heckling.

As Israeli soldiers leave the battlefield – some
carrying Lebanese and Hizbollah flags as trophies -key issues remain unsolved.

These include the fate of two soldiers whose abduction sparked the conflict and whether Hizbollah will disarm.