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Israel closes its Beirut office under pressure from Lebanon

Israel shut down its diplomatic and military liaison office outside Beirut Wednesday, reluctantly complying with a demand by the Syrian-backed Lebanese government.

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The office, set up shortly after Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982 to drive out Palestinian guerrillas, was given official sanction by the troop withdrawal accord reached by Israel and Lebanon in May of 1983. But under pressure from Syria, the government of Lebanese President Amin Gemayel scrapped the accord in March, and last week demanded that Israel dismantle the office.

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