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Truce In Lebanon

Lebanese began returning to their homes after a cease-fire went into effect to end fighting between Lebanon-based Hezbollah terrorists and Israeli forces.

The fighting began when Hezbollah entered Israel, killed eight Israeli soldiers, kidnapped two others, and began to fire rockets into Israel. Israel responded by attacking Hezbollah sites in Lebanon.

United Nations Security Council Resolution seventeen-zero-one authorizes an expanded U-N peacekeeping force to help the Lebanese army take control of southern Lebanon as Israel withdraws. The Security Council also imposed an arms embargo on weapons going into Lebanon except those for use by Lebanon's army.

The resolution says that Lebanon must take control of the south, "so that there will be no weapons without the consent of the government of Lebanon and no authority other than that of the government of Lebanon."

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says, "the conditions of a lasting peace must be nurtured over time, with the goodwill of the Lebanese and Israeli government[s], and with the sustained commitment of the international community." Ms. Rice said the resolution is, "a good first step":

"Since the conflict began we have sought an immediate end to the fighting. But we have also insisted that a durable ceasefire requires a decisive change from the status quo that produced this war."

The U-N resolution, says Secretary of State Rice, "lays the foundation to achieve that goal."

In a written statement, President George W. Bush says that the U-N resolution is, "designed to stop Hezbollah from acting as a state within a state, and put an end to Iran and Syria's efforts to hold the Lebanese people hostage to their own extremist agenda." Mr. Bush says, "this in turn will help to restore the sovereignty of Lebanon's democratic government and help ensure security for the people of Lebanon and Israel."

The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.