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20 Dec 2006 description

Beirut_(dpa) _ Thirty-five Qatari troops arrived in Lebanon Wednesday as the first Arab contingent to join the UN peacekeeping force supervising a ceasefire between Hezbollah militants and Israel.

Qatar pledged in September to send up to 300 troops to join the beefed-up UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) to implement UN Security Council Resolution 1701 which ended 33-days of war between Israel and Hezbollah during July-August.

11 Dec 2006 description

Beirut_(dpa) _ Israeli jets violated airspace in southern Lebanon Monday by flying at low altitude over areas where UN peacekeepers are stationed, police said.

The jets also flew over the cities of Tyre, Marjayun and Nabatiyeh, police said.

France, which currently heads the UN force in Lebanon, protested to the Israeli authorities in October following a series of airspace violations over its positions in south Lebanon.

Israel has defended its overflights by saying they are needed to monitor arms shipments to the Lebanese Shiite militant group Hezbollah.

07 Dec 2006 description

Beirut_(dpa) _ Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Seniora called on Thursday on the pro-Syrian opposition to return to the negotiating table, as street protests led by the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah entered its first week.

"The Lebanese will have to sit back down together," he told a group of Lebanese visiting government offices in Beirut.

Meanwhile, the Hezbollah-run al-Manar television announced that their leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah was due to address his followers at 1830 GMT.

The pro-Syrian opposition no longer recognizes the premier's government after six …

06 Dec 2006 description

Beirut_(dpa) _ The UN Peacekeeping force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) was in a state of high alert after receiving threats of possible attacks by al-Qaeda, UN sources said Wednesday.

According to the sources the UNIFIL forces took a series of security measures Tuesday after receiving reports of "possible attacks against its troops in southern Lebanon by al-Qaeda."

"We alerted the Lebanese army and intelligence about these threats," said the source, who did not wish to elaborate.

Meanwhile, a Lebanese security source told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa "that the …

01 Dec 2006 description

Beirut_(dpa) _ Hundred of thousands of pro-Syrian followers gathered Friday in Beirut's downtown area around the governmental palace, calling on Prime Minister Fouad Seniora to step down.

As the speeches in the main part of the demonstration ended, protesters began blocking all roads to where the government usually hold weekly meetings in downtown Beirut.

"We will block all roads leading to where the cabinet meetings wil be held with our tents and sleep in them," an organizer said. "This is part of our next phase of plan."

28 Nov 2006 description

Beirut_(dpa) _ Muslim religious leaders appealed Tuesday to Lebanon's main political groups to remain calm and avoid the streets in order to spare the country a new wave of violence.

07 Nov 2006 description

Beirut_(dpa) _ Lebanon's political leaders ended their second day of talks Tuesday by requesting a 48-hour break to look at proposals for a possible government change sought by the pro-Syrian Hezbollah.

House Speaker Nabih Berri said the break until Thursday was to allow participants to study "various proposals" discussed on the second day of talks.

06 Nov 2006 description

Beirut_(dpa) _ Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere arrived on Monday in Beirut to meet with Lebanese officials and to extend his country's support for Lebanon.

Stoere was due to meet with Prime Minister Fouad Seniora and Foreign Minister Fawzi Salloukh, officials said.

Upon his arrival Stoere said: "We condemn all violations either by land, air and sea" of Lebanon.

27 Oct 2006 description

Tel Aviv_(dpa) _ The Israeli military said Friday that the Israeli fighter jets which threatened a German naval ship earlier this week were on a training mission.

The Israeli military was using a corridor for training flights, around 45 nautical miles (83 kilometres) from the north coast of Israel, Israeli air force sources said.

26 Oct 2006 description

Beirut_(dpa) _ Lebanon's fundamentalist Shiite movement Hezbollah said Thursday they were ready to participate in "consultative talks" called for by their ally, Shiite House Speaker Nabih Berri, to try to solve domestic divisions inside the country.

26 Oct 2006 description

Tel Aviv_(dpa) _ Israel will continue to fly over Lebanese territory, Defence Minister Amir Peretz said Thursday, two days after Israeli planes buzzed a German naval vessel close to the Israel-Lebanon border.

Meeting with European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana, Peretz said that the Israeli flights over Lebanon would continue so long as two Israeli soldiers snatched by Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas were not released, and so long as there was no organized supervision of the Syrian-Lebanon border.

25 Oct 2006 description

Berlin/Beirut/Tel Aviv_(dpa) _ Germany and Israel both confirmed Wednesday an incident the previous day involving Israeli aircraft and a German naval vessel patrolling of Lebanon, saying they had been touch as a result.

German Defence Ministry spokesman Thomas Raabe said in Berlin that six Israeli F-16 jets had flown very low over the German vessel, stating this happened at 10.11 hours Tuesday.

The planes had given off infra-red decoys and one of the aircraft had fired two shots into the air which had not been specifically aimed.

23 Oct 2006 description

Beirut_(dpa) _ Israeli jets intensified Monday their overflights over Lebanon reaching areas over the capital Beirut, Lebanese police said.

"More than 20 overflights were registered over areas in the capital, its surroundings and southern Lebanon," the police said.

Two jets flew low over Beirut, police said.

Police said four planes carrying out mock raids over the southern port city of Tyre, as Lebanese Muslims celebrated the end of Ramadan.

"These are the most intensive overflights since the August 14 ceasefire," the police said.

21 Oct 2006 description

Beirut_(dpa) _ The Lebanese government on Saturday began distributing first aid for rebuilding the south of the country two months after the war between Hezbollah and Israel.

The head of the South Lebanon Council Kablan Kablan said the government had handed villagers the first cheques, totalling 400 million Lebanese pounds (270,000 dollars).

According to government estimates, a total of around 600 million dollars is needed to rebuild homes in the south, following the 33-day Israeli offensive.

Kabalan said the owners of houses completely destroyed would receive 40,000 …

19 Oct 2006 description

New York_(dpa) _ The UN military commander in southern Lebanon said Thursday if necessary he would use anti-aircraft artillery to protect UN peacekeepers against Israeli jet fighters that violate Lebanese airspace.

French General Alain Pellegrini, commander of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), said Israeli warplanes had violated UN ceasefire resolution 1701 by entering Lebanese airspace.

"If I have to use them (the artillery) to defend our soldiers, I will use them," Pelligrini said in a news conference at UN headquarters in New York.

18 Oct 2006 description

Beirut_(dpa) _ Lebanese army troops backed by French peacekeepers stopped Israeli troops Wednesday from laying a pipe to divert rainwater into Lebanon, a Lebanese army source told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

Israeli troops along with two buldozers had crossed the UN demarcated Blue Line near the border village Lebanese of Kfar Kila on Tuesday.

"The Israeli troops cut the barbed wire separating Israel and Lebanon and placed the water pipe 40 metres inside Lebanese territory," the Lebanese army source said.

A Lebanese army force backed by a bulldozer arrived at the scene …

10 Oct 2006 description

Beirut_(dpa) _ Seven Turkish peacekeepers have arrived in Lebanon to join other countries in the international force supervising a fragile ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah, the Lebanese official news agency (ANI) reported Tuesday.

The seven officers are part of a 270-man engineering corps scheduled to be deployed near the southern port of Tyre around October 20, ANI said.

The Turkish troops will help rebuild bridges in southern Lebanon.

29 Sep 2006 description

Sofia_(dpa) _ The Bulgarian government Friday approved the two-month deployment of a Bulgarian frigate to Lebanon as part of the UN peacekeeping mission in that country.

The Druzki frigate, with a crew of up to 160, is to be deployed in Lebanon from October 15 to December 15 to patrol Lebanese territorial waters and prevent weapon smuggling.

The Bulgarian frigate's participation in the UN Interim force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) has yet to be approved by the parliament. dpa el mp pmc

29 Sep 2006 description

By Weedah Hamzah, dpa

Marwaheen, Lebanon_(dpa) _ Roads leading to the southern border village of Marwaheen looked deserted Friday, not because of Friday prayers but because Israeli troops continue to enter the village and set up checkpoints.

Fresh track marks along the side of the roads were vivid evidence that Israeli tanks were present in the area.

The village looks almost deserted except for the few who decided to stay on their land and in houses.

"This is my territory even if they (Israeli troops) are still positioned on a hilltop overlooking the village," said …

28 Sep 2006 description

September 28, 2006 Beirut_(dpa) _ Tanks belonging to French contingent of UN peacekeepers in southern Lebanon were involved in a brief confrontation with Israeli tanks Thursday on a road where Israeli troops had been erecting checkpoints.

Four French Leclerc tanks with UN peacekeepers moved to the entrance of the border village of Marwaheen where at least five Israeli Merkava tanks were operating in the area for the past two days, preventing civilians and journalists from entering the village.