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IDF backs recognizing fighting in southern Lebanon as an official military campaign

The Israel Defense Forces will recognize the 18-year period that troops were deployed in southern Lebanon from 1982 to 2000 as an official campaign and grant a special pin to those who took part in it, providing Defense Minister Benny Gantz and the government approve the move.

This period, in which the IDF occupied southern Lebanon in order to defend northern Israel from terrorist attacks, will be known as “The Security Zone in Lebanon Campaign,” the military says.

The decision was made by IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi on the recommendation of a committee led by former chief of staff Lt. Gen. (res.) Shaul Mofaz, the military says.

Mofaz’s committee, which included current IDF generals and former top commanders of the campaign, was tasked with considering the possibility of formally recognizing this period as an IDF campaign earlier this year, in light of the 20th anniversary of Israel’s withdrawal from southern Lebanon and after years of requests from veterans of this period.

Kohavi accepted their recommendation, saying it was an “important and moral move, which expresses deep appreciation for the service of many generations (of soldiers), who defended the northern borders of the country and its citizens.”

Kohavi passed along his recommendation to Gantz. If the defense minister approves the measure, the matter then requires final approval from the government’s Ministerial Committee for Ceremonies and Symbols.

— Judah Ari Gross

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