Cabinet set to approve unilateral withdrawal from Ghajar

According to proposed plan, Israel to leave northern part of village; UNIFIL to be tasked with preventing infiltrators, terrorists.

November 17, 2010 07:41
1 minute read.
Cabinet set to approve unilateral withdrawal from Ghajar

ghajar 224.88. (photo credit: AP [file])

The cabinet on Wednesday is expected to approve a plan whereby Israel will unilaterally withdraw from the northern part of Ghajar, placing that part of the village in Lebanese hands as mandated by the United Nations, Army Radio reported.

According to the proposed layout, the IDF will secure the Israel-Lebanon border south of Ghajar and UNIFIL have the responsibility of preventing the entry of infiltrators, terrorists and criminals in the northern part of the village.

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The cabinet is expected to instruct the IDF to accelerate discussions with UNIFIL with the aim of formulating security arrangements within the next month.

The village sits in area where the boundaries between Israel, Syria and Lebanon are in dispute.

Israel captured the village of some 2,000 people from Syria in 1967. In 2000, after Israel withdrew its forces from southern Lebanon, UN surveyors placed the border in the middle of the village, leaving Israel in control of the southern half. The IDF reoccupied the northern half in the 2006 war. After the fighting, Israel pledged to withdraw from that section, but has yet to do so.

Ghajar’s residents are members of Islam’s Alawite sect, whose followers include many members of Syria’s ruling elite. Most of the villagers have said they want the village to remain united, regardless of who controls it.

Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.

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