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Sunday, September 10, 2006

Fwance Wusses Out, As Usual

France: Int'l fleet won't employ force
HERB KEINON, YAAKOV KATZ and AP, THE JERUSALEM POST Sep. 7, 2006
France announced on Friday that the international naval force designated to
patrol Lebanon's territorial waters would not be authorized to employ force
to stop ships from entering or leaving Lebanon.
 
A spokesman for the French defense ministry said that the international
craft would only provide assistance for Lebanese ships, and would not
interfere with other nations' boats, Israel Radio reported.
 
Earlier Friday, Israel began to remove its naval blockade of Lebanon,
imposed almost two months after Hizbullah launched its cross-border raid and
kidnapped two Israeli soldiers.
 
Maj.-Gen. Alain Pellegrini, the French commander of UNIFIL, said government
officials informed him Friday afternoon that the blockade was being lifted.
Government spokeswoman Miri Eisin said she didn't have immediate
confirmation that the final order had been given to lift the siege, but said
earlier Friday that the blockade would be ended within hours.
 
Italian Foreign Minister Massimo D'Alema, meeting with Foreign Minister
Tzipi Livni, announced that a multinational task force, commanded by an
Italian admiral, had begun patrolling Lebanese territorial waters.
 
The Italian Admiral, aboard an Italian aircraft carrier, received command of
the patrols off the Lebanese coast and Israeli Naval ships began returning
back to Israeli waters.

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