Lebanese Soldiers 311.
(photo credit: Associated Press)
LEBANON — Hizbullah's weapons are still necessary to
defend the country despite Israel's decision to pull out of a disputed
border village, a senior official with the group said Saturday.
Also on Saturday, a Lebanese diplomat warned that the planned Israeli withdrawal from Ghajar would not satisfy the country's demands.
comments of Hussein Khalil, the political adviser to Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah, came three days after Israel announced its
decision to withdraw from the northern half of Ghajar.RELATED:
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Khalil said that even if Israel pulled out the
village, it is still occupying the disputed Sheba Farms captured from Syria four decades ago.
and its weapons are still a national need to liberate remaining
occupied Lebanese territories especially Sheba Farms," Khalil told reporters after meeting Christian leader Michel
Aoun, a strong ally of Hizbullah.
In a statement reported by Lebanese newspaper Nahar, the diplomatic source said that even if UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL)
forces are deployed in the divided town, the government would not consider the withdrawal complete until the Lebanese army is
deployed in the village. He added that Lebanon expects Israel to also withdraw from the nearby Sheba Farms.
this week, the security cabinet approved the pullout in principle,
based on a UNIFIL plan put forward by its commander, Gen. Alberto Asarta
Cuevas. It asked the Foreign Ministry to finalize the withdrawal
details with UNIFIL.
so doing, Israel has abided by Security Council Resolution 425 from
1978, under which the UN, in 2000, determined that the Israeli
withdrawal line from Lebanon – known as the Blue Line – should run
Ghajar, an Alawite village of 2,210 people, is located on the Golan
Heights and sits on a strategic corner where the boundaries between
Syria, Lebanon and Israel are in dispute.
It is anticipated that once the IDF withdraws into the southern part of
the village, UNIFIL would then be stationed along Ghajar’s northern
The report noted that Lebanon would not view a withdrawal as
fulfilling international resolutions, saying that it still expects
Israel to withdraw from the disputed Sheba Farms and "respect Lebanon's
sovereignty by ending its daily air, land and sea violations against
Lebanon and dismantling its spy networks in the country."
US, European and United Nations officials have all praised the Israeli
decision to withdraw from the northern half of the town "in line with UN
Resolution 1701," which ended the 2006 Lebanon War.