Shebaa Farms: A Lebanese Land Occupied by Israel
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Brief History:

  • In 1978, Israeli forces illegally invaded the southern part of Lebanon.

  • In 1982, Israel continued with its invasion up to and including Beirut. The United States, France, Italy and the United Kingdom sent a multi-national force to provide security while Israel pulled back and Palestinian forces left for Tunis. Israel defying UN Resolution 425, remained in a large part of south Lebanon..

Israel partially withdrew from central Lebanon in 1984 and 1985 but enlarged its occupation of the southern part of the country up to the area of Jezzine. In 1985, it declared that part of the country as a security zone for its border.

  • On April 11, 1996, following an escalation in intermittent skirmishes, Israel commenced a bombardment of southern Lebanon and certain other targets in Lebanon, including the southern suburbs of Beirut.

  • On April 27, 1996, a cease-fire "April Understanding" came into effect. The cease-fire was based on a written but unsigned agreement drawn up by France and the United States and setting out a position mutually acceptable to Israel, Syria and Lebanon, which expanded and consolidated oral cease-fire understanding reached in July 1993. These arrangements established an international group composed of representatives of the United States, France, Syria, Lebanon and Israel to monitor the cease-fire. Meetings of the monitoring group took place on a regular basis for the purpose of addressing repeated breaches of the cease-fire.

  • On June 24, 1999, February 7, 2000, and May 5, 2000, Israeli military aircraft attacked several power stations and bridges near Beirut, as part of more frequent recent air attacks on Lebanese territory. The rehabilitation of the infrastructure damaged by these Israeli attacks has been completed.

  • On May 24, 2000, Israel withdrew its troops from a large territory in southern Lebanon, which it had been occupying since 1978. A significant issue relating to the withdrawal remains unsettled. This relates to the status of certain villages and adjacent land on the eastern side of Alsheikh Mountain, known as the “Shebaa Farms”, which have been occupied by Israel since 1967. The Government advised the United Nations that it considers the area to be Lebanese territory and that, as such, the withdrawal must encompass it.

  • On January 22, 2001, the Secretary General of the United Nations submitted to the United Nations Security Council a report covering the period from the withdrawal by Israeli forces from southern Lebanon (excluding the “Shebaa Farms”) on July 18, 2000 to January 18, 2001 which described the situation in southern Lebanon as generally stable, with the exception of certain breaches of the line of withdrawal (the so called “Blue Line”). The breaches consist of Israeli attacks on Lebanese territory and attacks on Israeli occupation military targets in the “Shebaa Farms” area.

  • On June 12, 2006, in response to the Lebanese group, Hezbollah, capture of two Israeli soldiers, Israel backed by few Western powers attacked Lebanon infrastructures, from bridges, airport, ports, depots, hospitals, everything it can bomb. It attacked children, women, and elders. Over 1,300 Lebanese, including infants, and children were killed on the order of the Israeli prime minister Ohud Olmert. The economical loss to Lebanon was in approximate number of 1.6 billion. Lebanese group in response attacked several cities on the Israeli side with a significant damage to the local infrastructure.  Israel failed to meet its objective of its war on Lebanon, and the Lebanese group, Hezbollah declared victory. The issue of Shebaa Farms was a point of the UN Resolution 1701, which ended the June 2006 war.

Israeli Occupation of the Shebaa Farms:

During the 1967 Six Day War Israeli forces seized a piece of Lebanese territory called the Shebaa Farms, a 25 square kilometer area consisting of 14 farms located south of the Shebaa, a Lebanese village on the western slopes of Mount Hermon. Since Lebanon was not a participant in the Six Day War, UN representatives were biased for Israel, pointing out that the 1923 Anglo-French demarcation and the 1949 Armistice line clearly designated the area as Syrian territory. The UN backed Israel and certified its pullout from Lebanon.

However, Lebanese and Syrian officials insisted that Syria had officially given the territory to Lebanon in 1951. Lebanese officials pointed to the fact that a number of residents in the area have land deeds stamped by the Lebanese government.

Lebanese army maps published in 1961 and 1966 specifically pinpoint several of the Shebaa Farms, including Zebdine, Fashkoul, Mougr Shebaa and Ramta, all of which are designated as being lebanese. Lebanese Ministry of Tourism maps also show the Lebanese-Syrian border running west of the Shebaa Farms. Syria has officially acknowledged the Farms are Lebanese.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said the Israeli-occupied Shebaa Farms belong to Lebanon. Assad told a news conference in Paris before ending a state visit to France, Beirut and Damascus will demarcate their countries' border at Shebaa Farms after Israel withdraws from the region. They will then submit a new map to the UN.

The Lebanese Resistance has vowed to keep up resistance operations in the area until Israel withdraws.

Source: Republic of Lebanon


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