Israel to quit northern sector of Lebanese village

JERUSALEM—Israel will present to the U.N. a plan to withdraw from the northern sector of a disputed Lebanese border village that it has occupied since its 2006 war with Lebanon’s Hezbollah guerrillas, an Israeli official said on Sunday.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won’t present the proposal to U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon until Monday. Netanyahu plans to ask a group of decision-making Cabinet ministers to approve the plan next week, after he returns from a U.S. trip.

Ghajar sits on a border area where the boundaries between Syria, Israel and Lebanon are in dispute. Israel captured the entire village of some 2,000 people from Syria in 1967.

In 2000, after Israel withdrew its forces from south Lebanon, U.N. surveyors put the border in the middle of the village, leaving Israel in control of the southern half.

Israel reoccupied the northern part in 2006. Following the war, Israel pledged to withdraw from that sector but gave no timeline for doing so.

Ghajar’s residents are members of Islam’s Alawite sect, whose followers include many members of Syria’s ruling elite. Most of the villagers have said in the past that they want the village to remain united, regardless of who controls it.

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