No agreement yet on Ghajar withdrawal

No agreement yet on Ghaj

By
January 7, 2010 18:26
2 minute read.

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Israel presented UNIFIL commander Maj.-Gen Claudio Graziano on Thursday with its vision of arrangements in and around the northern border town of Ghajar following a possible IDF pull-back from its northern half, with diplomatic sources saying the negotiations over a pullback are very much in their early stages. Foreign Ministry director-general Yossi Gal met on Thursday with Graziano for a second round of talks on the fate of the Alawite town that straddles the Lebanese border. UNIFIL, during the first round of talks last month, presented Israel with its ideas on how things should work. The Foreign Ministry issued a statement following the meeting saying that Israel was committed to continuing to work toward reaching an agreement on Ghajar that would preserve Israel's security interests, the well-being of the residents, and the fabric of life in the town. Few details of the emerging agreement were made public, but it was clear that the discussions were centering on how UNIFIL forces would be deployed in and around Ghajar to prevent Hizbullah from infiltrating men or arms into Israel through it. The government has reportedly approved a plan to turn over control of the northern half of the village to UNIFIL. No physical barrier would be built between the northern and southern parts of the village, but rather UNIFIL would patrol both the northern half and the perimeter. Ghajar has about 2,000 residents, with around 70 percent living in its northern half. When the IDF pulled out of Lebanon in 2000, the UN determined that the international border between Israel and Lebanon ran through the middle. Since the Second Lebanon War in 2006, Israel has maintained a military presence in the northern part of the town and built a security fence around it. Diplomatic officials said that reaching an understanding over the issue was made more complicated because Lebanon refuses to have any dealings, even indirectly, with Israel, and all the negotiations are being conducted with UNIFIL. In a related development, IDF sources confirmed that a pit filled with bombs had been discovered by UNIFIL troops late last month. UNIFIL did not hide the discovery and even issued a press release the next day. The IDF sources said it was likely that the bombs were planted along the border near Metulla since the Second Lebanon War and that their discovery was another demonstration of how Hizbullah was violating UN Security Council Resolution 1701. Meanwhile, UNIFIL and the Lebanese army will begin joint exercises on Friday along the border with Israel. The drill is aimed at increasing cooperation between the two forces. Yaakov Katz contributed to this report.

Related Content

Jisr az-Zarq
April 3, 2014
Residents of Jisr az-Zarqa beckon Israel Trail hikers to enjoy their town

By SHARON UDASIN