Security cabinet to mull Ghajar's future

Lieberman, who is to give PM recommendations on town, supports building barrier cutting it in half.

ghajar 248.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
ghajar 248.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
The security cabinet is likely to meet soon to discuss the fate of Ghajar, with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman expected to give his recommendation on how Israel should deal with the northern town that straddles the Lebanese border. In recent weeks, Lieberman - charged by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with drawing up policy recommendations concerning the town - has signaled that he supports building a physical barrier on the international border that divides the city in half, and turning the northern part of the city over to UNIFIL control. Earlier this year, Israel indicated it was willing to negotiate with the UN over a pullback in Ghajar. A positive recommendation by Lieberman on this issue would be the first time an official at his level came out in favor of this idea. When the IDF pulled out of Lebanon in May 2000, the UN determined that the border ran through the middle of Ghajar. In the aftermath of the Second Lebanon War in 2006, Israel maintained a military presence in the northern part of the town and built a security fence around it. Some 1,500 residents live in the northern part of the town, and another 500-700 are in the southern part, on the Israeli side of the border. An Israeli withdrawal would be in line with commitments it made as part of UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which put an end to the 2006 fighting. UN, European and American officials have been urging Israel to move out of northern Ghajar to help bolster the moderates in Lebanon.