Ghajar, the town divided by the Lebanon-Israel border is back in the news.
Israel's foreign Minister Lieberman has been tasked with finding a solution to the boundary issue in the town and is proposing that a fence be built along the border cutting off the northern half of the village from the southern one and giving the Israeli citizens in the north the chance to move south, or forfeit their citizenship.
This solution stands in contrast to a plan whereby peacekeepers would act as border guards between the town and the rest of Lebanon, but the town would remain undivided and the IDF would withdraw from the north. This seems to be the plan the IDF itself advocates.
Meanwhile, residents of the town have pleaded with Israeli government officials not to divide the town or turn any of it over to Lebanon as this would be akin to a "death sentence." It's unclear if this is a literal fear of death or just a fear of disastrous consequences. It's easy to imagine the social and economic implications of dividing a small town like Ghajar, but a death sentence, literally? Probably not. Nonetheless, Siniora, the Lebanese Prime Minister described Israel's presence in the north of the town as a daily act of aggression and insists Israel must leave.
Israel has to withdraw from the town to comply with UN resolutions ending the last war in Lebanon. Israel's considerations are over drug smuggling, security and the unstated concern over the water resources around Ghajar. A fence is probably a quick fix to at least the crime and security concerns, but it ignores the interests and rights of the Israeli citizens living in the town. In the absence of more information about Lieberman's intent and reasoning, it's probably a fair guess that this plan of building a fence and all the negative consequences it may have stems from the mistrust of peacekeepers stationed in Lebanon and their ability or willingness to act on Israeli security interests. It is an oversimplified solution to a complex problem. A proper solution must take into account all the security considerations as well as the rights of the people living in the town and the whole issue should be examined to see if there is any way to use the case of this town to make contacts with Lebanon on some level. It's been done in the past, why not build on it? Only, don't build a wall!
Turkey, Russia, and the US in Syria
1 year ago