There is all quiet on Lebanon’s southern border after Israel withdrew the last of its troops from Lebanon early on Sunday. The pullout fulfilled a key condition of the ceasefire that ended a month-long war with Hezbollah and cleared the way for the full deployment of an international peacekeeping force that will police the border with the Lebanese army.
The Israeli soldiers left ahead of the start of Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar. For one resident of the town of Marwaheen, the Israeli departure is a new beginning.
“I am very happy the Israelis are leaving our country. We won’t see the violence we saw before. We have to make sacrifices and be patient till the end,” said one woman.
The UN says Israeli soldiers have left all sectors except for the area of Ghajar, just north of the blue line. UN troops verifying the withdrawal now face the task of dealing with the landmines left behind. They will hand over the land to Lebanese troops within 24 hours.