Israel withdraws from disputed village on Israel-Lebanon border
(23 November 2010)
Based on a two-year-old United Nations (UN) proposal, Israeli forces have been ordered to withdraw from the northern half of the village of Ghajar, situated on the Israel-Lebanon border. Originally part of Syria, the village was captured by Israel in 1967, when Israel took over Syria’s Golan Heights. In 1978 the village was extended into southern Lebanon after Israel occupied this region. Following the withdrawal of Israeli forces from southern Lebanon in 2000, the UN established a de facto border between Israel and Lebanon, referred to as the Blue Line, that cuts through Ghajar. In 2006 the northern section of the village situated on the Lebanese side of the Blue Line was again occupied by Israel after its brief war with Hezbollah. The village consists of 2,300 residents, and those situated within the northern section would be able to remain as Israeli citizens, though living on Lebanese territory, according to the UN proposal.
Source: ‘Israel agrees to border pullout’, Charles Levinson and Joshua Mitnick, Wall Street Journal, 18 November 2010; ‘Fears of split in Israeli-Lebanon border village’ Wyre Davis, BBC News, 17 November 2010.