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UNIFIL: Israel must withdraw from south Lebanon village

412416_img650x420_img650x420_cropSpanish U.N. peacekeepers patrol in the Israeli-occupied Shebaa Farms, overlooking the divided border village of Ghajar, southeast Lebanon, Tuesday Feb. 24, 2015. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

Lebanon News
Apr. 29, 2015 | 04:03 PM
UNIFIL: Israel must withdraw from south Lebanon village


The Daily Star

BEIRUT: Israel must withdraw from the occupied Lebanese village of Ghajar in accordance with U.N. Security Council resolution 1701, the head of the U.N.’s peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon has reiterated.

“This area, which falls north of the Blue line, is a part of Lebanese territory,” Maj. Gen. Luciano Portolano said in an interview published by As-Safir Wednesday. “And Israeli withdrawal is not negotiable – it is a commitment that Israel should follow through with.”

The UNIFIL chief said that he has been “firm” in this demand during his meetings with Israeli authorities and noted that U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has also repeatedly raised the issue.

Since 2006, UNIFIL has been issuing several suggestions that would allow for a peaceful withdrawal from the area, he said.

The last proposal, which was submitted in 2011, was approved by the Lebanese Army but was met with no response from Israeli authorities, he added.

The division of the village, possibly due to geographic circumstances, occurred following Israel’s 2000 military withdrawal from most of southern Lebanon. The northern part of the village was deemed by U.N. mapmakers to be Lebanese and the southern section Israeli. The two parts are divided by the Blue Line. Israel reoccupied northern Ghajar during its 2006 invasion of Lebanon. U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701, which ended the hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah, stipulated that Israel must withdraw from northern Ghajar to south of the Blue Line.


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