First Published: 2007-07-11

 
UN cartographer finds Shebaa Farms 'Lebanese'
 

New finding confirms previous claims from Damascus, Beirut that Shebaa Farms belong to Lebanon.

 

Middle East Online

Lebanese or Syrian? Theyre certainly not Israeli

TEL AVIV - A UN cartographer has determined for the first time that the Israeli-held Shebaa Farms, long the centre of a territorial dispute, belong to Lebanon, a senior Israeli official said on Wednesday.

The United Nations has asked Israel to hand control of the flashpoint territory to the world body, the official said on condition of anonymity, adding however that this had been rejected by the Jewish state.

A UN source in Jerusalem however said its cartographer has not finished his work and that it had not asked the Israeli government to hand over control of the land that the United Nations has up until now viewed as Syrian.

"The UN cartographer continues his work and will be visiting the area shortly," the source said.

Israel captured the 25-square-kilometre (10-square-mile) area of land on the Israel-Lebanon-Syria border as part of the Syrian Golan Heights during the 1967 Six Day War and later annexed it along with the rest of the strategic plateau.

Lebanon today claims sovereignty over the territory and Syria backs Lebanons claim.

"In his findings that this area belonged to Lebanon, he must have ignored a lot of facts," the Israeli official said. "This territory has always been considered Syrian."

The tiny piece of land has been the reason for the Shiite Muslim Hezbollah's ongoing battle against the Jewish state after Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000.

Hezbollah wants all of Lebanons land liberated, but Israel claims that the remaining land it occupies is Syrian not Lebanese, despite Syrias instance that it is Lebanese.

Israel launched its 34-day war on Lebanon last year because Hezbollah seized two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid on July 12, 2006 in its continuous attempt to liberate the Shebaa Farms from Israeli occupation.

Critics of Israel say all parties (including Israel) agree that the farms are not Israeli and therefore should not remain under Israeli control, whether they belonged to Syria or Lebanon.

 

Syrian rebels agree to leave new area outside Damascus

Family accuses Israel of killing Palestinian in Malaysia

Rouhani slams officials' 'vow of silence' in face of protests

US has 'concerns' about Turkey holding fair vote under state of emergency

Cinema makes return to Saudi Arabia

UN Security Council meets over Syria in Sweden

Turkish government rejects criticism of election campaign

Condemnation after Gaza teenager killed by Israeli soldiers

Natalie Portman says backed out of Israel prize over Netanyahu

Morocco, EU start talks on new fisheries deal

FIFA to return to Morocco to check hotels, stadiums

Turkey in shock after violent Istanbul derby

Iraq pays first war reparations to Kuwait since 2014

Fiery kites adopted as new tactic by Gaza protesters

Romanian president slams plan to move Israel embassy

Western strikes on Syria bring no change whatsoever

Trump criticises OPEC for high oil prices

Syria says rebels south of capital surrender

Market has capacity to absorb higher oil prices: Saudi minister

Putin 'ready' for Trump summit

Saudi Arabia to host first public film screening

HRW criticises Lebanon for evicting Syria refugees

Saudi says intercepted ballistic missile from Yemen

Russia mulls supplying S-300 missile systems to Syria

Bashir fires Sudan foreign minister

Washington: Assad still has 'limited' chemical capability

European MPs urge US not to scrap Iran deal

Oil price soars to highest level in years

Two more pro-Kurdish MPs stripped of Turkey seats

Oil theft 'costing Libya over $750 million annually'

Turkey's snap polls: bold gambit or checkmate for Erdogan?

Iran arrests senior official over public concert

Bahrain sentences 24 to jail, strips citizenship

UN experts urge Iran to cancel Kurd's death sentence

Moderate quake strikes near Iran nuclear power plant

Syria regime forces caught in surprise IS attack

Turkey sentences 18 to life for killing ‘hero’ coup soldier

Exxon faces setback in Iraq as oil and water mix

Libya to clamp down on fuel smuggling

Yemen to arrest colonel for overlooking African migrant rape

Erdogan sends Turkey to snap polls on June 24

Qatar joins Gulf military exercise in apparent compromise

Saudi-Russia oil alliance likely to undercut OPEC

UN in security talks with Syria on chemical probe

Riyadh says two al Qaeda militants killed in Yemen