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Last Israeli soldier withdraws from Lebanon

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JERUSALEM (CNN) -- The last Israeli soldier left Lebanon early Sunday, more than a month after a U.N. resolution ended the 34-day war between Israel and Hezbollah, Israeli military sources said.

Fewer than 200 soldiers were involved in the last phase of the withdrawal, which concluded early Sunday, the sources said.

Israel already had withdrawn the majority of its 10,000 troops that entered Lebanon during the fighting. They moved into Lebanon on July 12 after Hezbollah militants captured two Israeli soldiers and killed three others in a cross-border raid.

The last Israeli forces were expected to leave Lebanon before the start of Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement, which is Sunday, Israeli media reported. Yom Kippur is one of the holiest days on the Jewish calendar.

The fighting ceased August 14 after the passage of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701, which called for an international force in southern Lebanon, a Hezbollah stronghold.

The international force is supposed to transfer power to Lebanese troops to prevent Hezbollah from again seizing control of the region, the resolution stated.

Earlier this month, in a speech to thousands of cheering supporters in Beirut, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah declared victory over Israel and vowed that Hezbollah militants will never disarm. (Full story)

"Those who say the resistance is weak, I want to say it's stronger than ever," Nasrallah said.

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