Lebanese Border Village Remains in Limbo

(Wall Street Journal) Charles Levinson - The Obama administration is pushing Israel to withdraw its forces from the Lebanese side of Ghajar, a farming village on the Israel-Lebanon border, where 2,200 residents - all Israeli citizens - are stuck in limbo. Israel has yet to agree, saying it is concerned about the fate of villagers and the potential legal repercussions of placing Israeli citizens under Lebanese sovereignty. Residents can now move freely into Israel, but not Lebanon. "Ghajar's residents are Israelis and they depend on Israel, and they can't be simply abandoned in enemy territory controlled by Hizbullah," said a senior Israeli official. The Obama administration is "really pushing us, but they're not looking at the details," he said. Residents of Ghajar, which was part of Syria for nearly five decades, fear being split or turned over to Lebanon. "We consider ourselves Syrian...but nobody is asking us what we want," says Najib Khatib, a village spokesman.

2010-01-29 08:24:04

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