Israel to pull out of Lebanese border village

08:35, November 08, 2010      

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Israel intends to pull its military forces out of a controversial village situated directly on the Lebanese border, local media reported Sunday.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to tell the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in a meeting on Monday that Israel intends to withdraw the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) troops from the northern part of the village of Ghajar.

The village came under Israeli control when the IDF raided Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) positions in Lebanon in 1978. In 2000, following the IDF's withdrawal from south Lebanon, the UN drew the international border between the two countries through the middle of the village.

Since then, Israeli forces have only been allowed entrance to the village's southern end, while Hezbollah maintained a small presence on its northern side. In the second Lebanon war in 2006, the IDF ousted Hezbollah and regained control of the village's northern end.

UN Resolution 1701, which ended the war, requires Israel to end all its military operations north of the border and withdraw from the village.

Israel has recently shared its plan to withdraw with the commander of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), according to local daily Ha'aretz report.

Israel may have decided on the move after being told by the U.S. and UN that a withdrawal will lend stability to Lebanon's newly- formed Saad Hariri government and help strengthen its moderates, said the report.

Netanyahu is expected to present Ban with a detailed withdrawal plan, and ask his Security Cabinet to approve it when he returns to Israel at the end of the week.

The Israeli premier departed Saturday night to the annual Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly in New Orleans. He is scheduled to meet U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the five-day visit.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:燕勐)

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