Naharnet

Israel’s Pullout from Ghajar on Hold: We Won't Give Hizbullah Gifts

An Israeli official has said that a plan to withdraw from the Lebanese side of the occupied border village of Ghajar is now on hold due to recent changes in the region, including Lebanon.

"We don't want to give the Hizbullah government free gifts," the official in Jerusalem told Israel’s Ynet news website, hinting that for the time being the plan to withdraw from the northern part of Ghajar has been frozen.

The Israeli security cabinet approved a plan to pull forces out from the Lebanese side of Ghajar around three months ago. Under the plan, Israeli troops were to withdraw from the area and leave it under UNIFIL’s authority.

"The idea was to boost the moderates, not the extremists," the official said. "Today it's problematic to hand over Ghajar to the Hizbullah government. We are discussing the matter with the U.N. and UNIFIL. Back in December we couldn't have predicted the current instability and Hizbullah toppling the government."

"Nothing will happen before the Hariri report comes out," the Israeli official said in reference to the indictment that will eventually be made public by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.


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