Powered by WebAds

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Lebanese army seeking to retake Shaba Farms?

The Lebanese army has paved a road that leads to the Bastara Farm, which is just 300 meters from the 'blue line,' the internationally recognized border between Israel and Lebanon until the United Nations suddenly decided otherwise one year ago. As you all may recall, Israel liberated Shaba Farms (known in Hebrew as Har Dov) from Syrian hands in 1967, and until last year, the 'international community' did not recognize Hezbullah's claim on the farms on behalf of Lebanon. Here's a map so you'll understand what I'm talking about:

Last week, Israel's embattled Prime Minister, Ehud K. Olmert, said that he willing to have 'direct talks' with Lebanon on Shaba Farms, in yet another bid to give away an Israeli security asset and keep himself in office.

On Friday, Israel rejected a French proposal to turn Shaba Farms over to the United Nations until ownership could be resolved between Syria and Lebanon.
The new initiative calls on Israel to relinquish the land to the UN, which would serve as a caretaker until the dispute over the identity of its true owner is solved.

The idea to hand over the land to the UN was reportedly raised during meetings Sarkozy held with the newly-elected Suleiman during a visit to Beirut early last month. The thinking behind the initiative is that by relinquishing the land Israel will erase Hizbullah's excuse to use force, namely, returning the Shaba Farms to Lebanon.

In addition, it is thought that this could bolster US-backed Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, during a surprise visit to Lebanon in mid-June, told Saniora the US "believes the time has come" to deal with the issue.

The Israeli defense official rejected the claim that giving up the area would bolster Saniora and deprive Hizbullah of its raison d'ĂȘtre, saying that after an Israeli withdrawal from the area, Hizbullah would simply find a new excuse for its existence.

As if proving this point, a senior Shi'ite religious leader was quoted in the Hizbullah-linked Al-Akhbar newspaper this week as saying that Hizbullah should liberate former Shi'ite villages now in northern Israel.

According to the report, Sheikh Abdel al-Amir Kiblan said the villages "must return to their owners, to our country and our people." The villages include the present day Israeli communities of Margaliot, Yuval and Yiron.

The defense official said the security establishment's recommendation to the political echelon was to relinquish the land only as part of a comprehensive peace deal either with Syria or with Lebanon.
Israeli 'defense officials' have confirmed that Hezbullah paved the road, but declined to comment on its significance. Don't expect the IDF to go in there and start shooting until they can see the whites of the eyes of the Lebanese army troops. Olmert just can't deal with it now, so it will just become another problem when the next war starts there.

For those who have forgotten, the 'Lebanese Army' coordinates its activities with Hezbullah. Much of the Lebanese army is in fact made up of Hezbullah members and sympathizers (probably more than half).


At 11:40 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 11:40 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

The Lebanese army is little more than a facade for Hezbollah, which now effectively calls the shots in Lebanon. So much for Ehud Olmert's boast the war two summers ago turned the situation to Israel's advantage. Under his watch, the government has gotten skilled at ignoring the developments in Lebanon - which will probably be left for his successor to address.


Post a Comment

<< Home