update deskMiddle East

Beirut demands Israel withdraw from northern Ghajar

Lebanon's PM and FM met with the UNIFIL chief to discuss a Hezbollah outpost that Israel wants removed.

Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Jan. 25, 2013. Photo by Monika Flueckiger/Swiss-Image.ch via Wikimedia Commons.
Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Jan. 25, 2013. Photo by Monika Flueckiger/Swiss-Image.ch via Wikimedia Commons.

Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati and Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib met with UNIFIL commander Maj. Gen. Aroldo Lázaro Sáenz in Beirut on Monday to discuss a Hezbollah outpost on the border that Israel wants removed.

“We discussed the security situations in the South and they relayed to us the Israeli side’s demand that the tent be removed. Our response was that we want them to retreat from northern Ghajar, which is considered Lebanese territory,” Lebanese media quoted Bou Habib as saying after the meeting.

The U.N.-delineated Blue Line international border runs through the Alawite village of Ghajar, separating Israel’s Golan Heights from southern Lebanon. Its residents hold Israeli citizenship and many in the northern portion also have Lebanese passports.

Tensions have been high along the border since Hezbollah pitched two tents on the Israeli side of the demarcation line. It was reported on July 2 that the group removed one of the tents.

The outpost was set up in early April, north of the border fence but on the Israeli side of the Blue Line in the Mount Dov region. The position, located across from an Israeli military base, was reportedly manned by three to eight armed terrorists.

The Israeli military carried out strikes against a missile launch site in Lebanon on July 6.

IDF soldiers arrived near Ghajar after reports of an explosion in the area. They learned that an anti-tank missile fired from Lebanon had exploded next to the border in Israeli territory.

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