The Shebaa Farms-Kfarchouba Hills debate: 'Full package' or negotiated 'separation?'

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2023-12-12 | 11:32
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The Shebaa Farms-Kfarchouba Hills debate: 'Full package' or negotiated 'separation?'
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The Shebaa Farms-Kfarchouba Hills debate: 'Full package' or negotiated 'separation?'

The statements of the Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant off the southern Lebanese border come amidst discussions within Israel about US efforts for a similar agreement to the maritime borders deal between Lebanon and Israel, including the area of Jabal Rous in the Shebaa Farms and the Kfarchouba Hills. 

So, what is Jabal Rous?

Jabal Rous is a series locally known as the Kfarchouba Hills, overlooking the Lebanese territories in Kfarchouba and surroundings. 

In Israeli terms, it is called Har Dov (Mount Dov), named after Dov Rodberg, an Israeli officer killed on those hills in 1970. 

Close to the Kfarchouba Hills lies the occupied Shebaa Farms, consisting of 14 farms stretching from the outskirts of Lebanese Shabaa to the occupied Syrian Golan Heights.

In 2000, Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon but remained in the farms and hills as they overlook vast parts of northern Israel in the Galilee and the Hula Valley, constituting a vital water reservoir for that region. 

Both Lebanese and Syrian narratives agree that these areas are Lebanese, without Damascus providing any maps to the United Nations to substantiate the verbal claims.

The absence of official demarcation for these areas has been Israel's pretext for not withdrawing. 

This is in the geographical reality of the region, but the region also holds military significance.

On these heights, there are Israeli surveillance sites, including radar installations, as well as the sites of Ramtha, Ruwaisat Al-Alam, and Ruwaisat Al-Samaqa, which are "advanced" combat sites that Hezbollah has targeted in recent weeks.

The withdrawal from the Kfarchouba Hills without the Shebaa Farms, according to the proposal mentioned by Israeli officials, aligns with the demands of implementing UN Resolution 1701. 

This resolution issued by the UN Security Council after the July 2006 war focuses on two points in its literal formulation: 

Establishing a zone between the Blue Line and the Litani River, free from any armed individuals, equipment, or weapons except those related to the government of Lebanon and the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). 

It also emphasizes the delineation of Lebanon's international borders, especially in disputed or unconfirmed border areas, including the Shebaa Farms region. 

Will this endeavor succeed in separating the Shebaa Farms from the Kfarchouba Hills in negotiations, or will the discussion revolve around a "full package" deal?
 

Lebanon News

News Bulletin Reports

Middle East News

Lebanon

Shebaa Farms

Kfarchouba Hills

Israel

Yoav Gallant

Borders

Jabal Rous

Mount Dov

Dov Rodberg

Golan Heights

Syria

UN Resolution 1701

Blue Line

Litani River

UNIFIL

Hezbollah

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