Ghajar – A new Israeli fence around the village

A Syrian citizen of Ghajar

(The Daily Star, March 22, 2010)

Israel erected up to 200 meters of barbed wire fencing and several observation posts around the occupied village of Ghajar Sunday, according to reports from the south.

“Israeli soldiers of occupation pursued their laying of barbed wires around the occupied village of Ghajar in south Lebanon with the apparent purpose of strengthening their hold on the occupied section of the village,” the state-run National News Agency reported.

“Israeli soldiers facing Wazzani River were seen working around the clock under the protection of an armored personnel carrier and a couple of jeeps. The Israelis also improvised three observation posts in Ghajar mounted with telescopes and heavy machineguns,” it added.

Israel said last year it was preparing to withdraw its forces from the northern part of occupied Ghajar, in line with long standing international legal obligations, although no discernible progress on a pullback has been achieved.

Bint Jbeil MP Qassem Hashem Sunday criticized an incident last week in which the Lebanese Army claimed it was targeted by a stone-throwing attack instigated by Israeli soldiers as “further provocation, let alone a violation of Lebanese sovereignty.”

Patrols from the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) were also targeted in the attack, which the international peacekeeping force said came from an area containing Israeli soldiers.

Also last week, the Lebanese Army located and dismantled an Israeli spying device disguised as a rock after a tipoff from Hezbollah. The Foreign Ministry filed an official complaint with the U.N. Security Council over the weekend and issued a statement slamming the placing of such espionage equipment.

“It represents an act of aggression against Lebanese territory and confirms once again Israel’s disdain of U.N. resolutions and the UNIFIL force,” the statement said.