Lebanon, Israel, UNIFIL discuss pullout from Lebanese border village Ghajar

November 30, 2010 10:52 am 

BEIRUT, Nov. 30 — A tripartite meeting between military officials from Lebanon, Israel and the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) was held on Monday to discuss the upcoming withdrawal from the north sector of the Lebanese border village of Ghajar.

The meeting, which was held at the UNIFIL headquarters in the south Lebanon village of Naqoura, also discussed the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which put an end to the 2006 summer war between Lebanon and Israel.

"Both parties expressed their full support and commitment to work together with UNIFIL for the implementation of UN resolution 1701," UNIFIL said in a statement following the tripartite meet.

Earlier this month, the Israeli security cabinet approved the withdrawal from the northern part of the village of Ghajar as stipulated by UN Resolution 1701. Ghajar straddles the border between Lebanon and Israeli-occupied Syrian territories.

After Israel ended its 18-year occupation of south Lebanon in 2000, UN peacekeepers split the village between Lebanon and Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. Israel re-invaded the village during the 2006 summer war.

Israel insists a pullout will only take place if UNIFIL secures total control of the village and does not allow any Lebanese military or civilian to enter it. Israeli officials fear that Ghajar may be infiltrated by members of Shiite armed group Hezbollah and used as a launch pad for attacks against the Jewish state.

UNIFIL has repeatedly insisted it was ready to provide all the support required to achieve a pullout. But an actual mechanism for the pullout has yet to be released and a public deadline remains to be set.

The tripartite meeting also discussed the violation of Lebanese airspace by Israeli jets, and Israeli allegations that its arch foe Hezbollah was still stocking up arms in violation of Resolution 1701. (PNA/Xinhua)

ALM/ebp

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