The Israel Defense Forces may leave south Lebanon by the end of the week, despite the fact that army and UNIFIL representatives have so far failed to reach an agreement on various issues regarding the withdrawal. UNIFIL represents the Lebanese army in the talks with Israel.
In a meeting Tuesday the two sides discussed different subjects, including the matter of security in the area of the Raghar village, which is located partly in Lebanese and partly in Israeli territory. The representatives did not reach an agreement on the issue, as well as on the mechanism of information transfer between the IDF and UNIFIL and the carrying out of joint inquiries.
In spite of the disagreements, IDF sources said that the political echelon, which will look into the understandings achieved so far, may give a green light for the troops to pull out of Lebanon.
Several hundreds Israeli soldiers are still stationed in a small area in southern Lebanon, after more than 90 percent of the region have already been handed over to UNIFIL forces. Over 15,000 UN and Lebanese troops are currently deployed in the area and thousands more are set to join them in coming days.
The IDF stressed that negotiations over a settlement may continue simultaneously with the Israeli forces' withdrawal.
A senior officer told Ynet: "We are doing everything in our power to reach arranged, clear and comprehensible agreements in order to avoid mistakes in the future. It's important to see how the UN forces operate on the ground, especially in matters concerning irregular incidents, gatherings or demonstrations. We can’t allow a situation in which Hizbullah deploys near the border under any circumstances. We have to reserve the right for some lenience in operations… in order for UN Resolution 1701 to exist on the ground, not just on paper."