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News In Brief

Sealing off Lebanese zone is considered by Israel

Defense Minister Moshe Arens is considering sealing the new Awali River defense line held by Israeli troops in southern Lebanon - severing the Israeli-occupied zone from the rest of the country, Israeli radio reported.

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Closing the Israeli line to Lebanese traffic from the north could bring on the de facto partition of Lebanon into an Israeli southern sector and Syrian northeastern area one step closer, Western observers said. Mr. Arens made his remarks Wednesday to a parliamentary committee.