Israel is weighing in on the dramatic situation in neighboring Lebanon, where protesters have toppled the government and are demanding a Syrian withdrawal from the country. Israel hopes a Lebanon without Syrian influence will open the door to peace between the two countries. But Deputy Prime minister Shimon Peres says that first, Syrian must pull its 15,000 troops out of Lebanon. “The Lebanese are sick and tired of being brutally occupied and governed by the Syrians,” Peres said. Israel was close to peace with Lebanon in 1982, until its ally, Christian President Bashir Gemayel, was assassinated, apparently by Syria.
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