Lebanese resist Israel’s building of permanent structures inside occupied village

Israel has refused to abide by a UN resolution passed in 2006 asking it to vacate the Ghajar village on Lebanon’s borders with the Syrian Golan Height. Golan has been under Israeli occupation since 1973

July 10, 2023 by Peoples Dispatch
Blue Line Ghajar
UN Interim Force in Lebanon personnel patrol the Blue Line. File Photo

On Sunday, July 9, some members of the Lebanese parliament from the newly formed “Forces of Change” group visited the Ghajar village in southern Lebanon following reports of fresh Israeli attempts to occupy it. The Forces of Change comprises representatives of protest groups in the country who were elected to parliament in the last elections in 2022,

The visit, as reported by Naharnet, comes amid increased recent Israeli attempts to violate the territorial status quo in the region. A day earlier, Israeli forces had tried to breach the Blue Line and enter the Lebanese territory, which was thwarted by Lebanese forces. 

Ghajar is in southern Lebanon and is adjacent to the Syrian Golan Heights which has been occupied by Israel since the 1973 war. Israel illegally annexed the territory in 1981.  

The village is divided into northern and southern parts by the Blue Line, a line to demarcate Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanese territories. Israel had occupied southern Lebanon in 1982. After decades of resistance, Hezbollah and the Lebanese forces were able to force Israel’s withdrawal in 2000.  

The southern part of the village falls in the occupied Golan whereas the northern part is in Lebanon. During the 2006 war with Hezbollah, Israel had occupied the northern part of the village as well. 

Israel has refused to abide by the UN Security Council resolution passed to end its war with Hezbollah in 2006, asking it to withdraw from the northern Ghajar. 

On Thursday, Hezbollah had claimed that Israel is building a barbed wire fence and a concrete wall around northern Ghajar. Israel has also granted the villagers its citizenship and opened the village for tourism, Hezbollah claimed. 

Several media reports verified the claims made by Hezbollah about Israel’s attempts to occupy Ghajar. 

Hezbollah had erected two tents near the village in opposition to Israeli aggression on July 6 when it fired two rockets inside Lebanese territory as a response to a rocket allegedly fired from Lebanon. The UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), which was formed to monitor the border by the UN, did not confirm the Israeli claims. 

Meanwhile, an Israeli military report claimed on Sunday that Hezbollah and Lebanese military personnel entered its side of the border from Manara area and stayed for almost 20 minutes before being persuaded by the UNIFIL to withdraw.