By JPOST.COM STAFF
A Lebanese newspaper claims that Israel informed UNIFIL that it would soon evacuate the northern part of Ghajer, Israel Radio reported on Thursday.
According to the Al Akhbar report, a source in the United Nations said that the withdrawal will be from both parts of the village, north and south. Israel would leave no administrative management there, the report continued, and the entire village would be under the UN's jurisdiction.
A Sunday report on Israel Radio said that Israel has agreed to a plan to turn over control of not all but rather half of Ghajar to UNIFIL.
According to the report, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu held a meeting earlier in the day and it was decided that Israel would leave the northern half of the village, and UNIFIL would take its place. No barrier would be built between the northern and southern parts of the village, according to the plan, but rather UNIFIL would patrol both the northern half and the perimeter.
In the summer Netanyahu passed the issue to Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and asked for the ministry's recommendation.
Ghajar has some 2,000 residents. When the IDF pulled out of Lebanon in 2000, the UN determined that the border ran through the middle of the town. Following 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. UN, European and American officials have long urged Israel to move out of northern Ghajar, to bolster the moderates in Lebanon, arguing that an Israeli withdrawal would be in line with commitments it made as part of UN Security Council Resolution 1701.
Also on Thursday, the new Lebanese cabinet agreed on a policy statement which acknowledges Hizbuollah's right to use its weapons against Israel, AFP reported. The decision came despite the disagreement of some members of the ruling majority.
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