Israel eyeing Lebanese village withdrawal

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel is interested in withdrawing from the northern part of a Lebanese village, an Israeli newspaper reported.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to announce Israel’s withdrawal from Ghanjar, located on the Lebanon-Israeli border, Ha’aretz reported Sunday. 

The announcement of the withdrawal, which the United States has been requesting for the last year as part of Israel’s commitment under United Nations Resolution 1701 ending the 2006 Lebanon War, comes ahead of Netanyahu’s scheduled  visit with President Obama later this month and ahead of next month’s Lebanese elections. The withdrawal announcement could bolster moderate candidates in an election that Hezbollah is expected to dominate.

Ghajar was annexed in 1981 and its residents are citizens of Israel. 

A spokeswoman of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon told the Lebanese newspaper The Daily Star that Lebanon has accepted a proposal for the force to "facilitate" an Israeli withdrawal from the village and is in talks with Israel on the proposed settlement.

No date has been set for the withdrawal.
 

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