Skip to main content

Israel Fencing Off Lebanese Village Would Violate UN Resolution

Israel is attempting to build a fence around the northern part of Ghajar, a Lebanese village that lies on its northern border with Lebanon, in violation of UN Resolution 1701, writes Nasser Chararah.
An Israeli soldier sits behind concrete blocks in the village of Ghajar on the Israeli-Lebanese border November 17, 2010. Israel said on Wednesday it would withdraw troops from the village straddling the Lebanese border, in a gesture to the United Nations that drew residents onto the streets protesting the division of their community. REUTERS/Baz Ratner (POLITICS) - RTXUQYD

In recent days, Israel has unilaterally attempted to build a fence around the northern part of Ghajar, a Lebanese village that it has occupied since 2006.  Lebanese security forces revealed to Al-Monitor that Israel had previously erected a barbed-wired fence around the northern Lebanese part of the village, to prevent — according to their claims — armed men from infiltrating the southern part of the village located in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights. Israel, however, is now intent on replacing this barb-wire fence with a five meter high fence. 

Yesterday, Lebanese army leaders contacted UNIFIL leadership, which operates within the Litani line in southern Lebanon (the area specified according to UN Resolution 1701), requesting that the latter issue a complaint to Tel Aviv. Israel's move to build a fence is a violation of international law, which stipulates that the occupation authorities not make any changes to the features of the area they occupy. 

There is an explanation for this move that has circulated among UNIFIL leaders in Naqoura, saying that the Israeli step could mean that Tel Aviv has decided to open the road adjacent to the northern Lebanese part of Ghajar, known as SDA, which is located within Lebanese territory. Israel had shut down the road following the 2006 war in order to protect sites within the village. Lebanon has previously requested — via UNIFIL — that Israel reopen this road, given that it serves as a vital means of transport for Lebanese living in the area. It is thought that Israel is erecting this fence around Ghajar to isolate its residents from the neighboring road, as a prelude to responding to the demand that it be opened to Lebanese traffic.

It is worth noting that residents of Ghajar — who are of Syrian origin, including Muslims and Alawites — have received Israeli citizenship at their own request. Israel occupied the village during the 1967 war with Syria, and after Israel withdrew from Lebanon in 2000, the United Nations delineated the Blue Line to serve as the border between Lebanon and Israel. 

The Blue Line separates the northern part of the village, located in Lebanon, from the southern part, which remained in the occupied Golan Heights. Israel, however, reoccupied the northern part of the village during the July War in 2006, and Resolution 1701 — which ended the war at the time — demanded that Israel withdraw from this part. In 2010, UNIFIL submitted a proposal by which they would take control of the northern part of the village, and the Israeli government has already approved a withdrawal plan in which they would hand it over to UNIFIL. This plan, however, has not been implemented, due to Lebanese objections, and their demand that it be placed under the authority of the Lebanese Army

This recent Israel move to build a fence around the village represents an escalation that indicates the occupation of the village will continue, in violation of Resolution 1701. 

Lebanese security sources says that it appears that recently Israel is exploiting the tense internal situation in Lebanon that has prevailed as a result of repercussions of the Syrian crisis. It is carrying out measures unilaterally on its border with Lebanon, in violation of its commitments according to Resolution 1701. A few weeks ago, Israel closed the road that links Israeli sites in the al-Wazani area to the al-Wazani river bank region, which lies in Lebanese territory. Israel insisted on this decision, despite Beirut raising an objection via UNIFIL. 

Nasser Chararah is a contributing writer for Al-Monitor's Lebanon Pulse, head of the Lebanese Institute for Studies and Publications, a writer for multiple Arab newspapers and magazines, author of several books on the Hezbollah-Israeli conflict and has worked for the Palestinian Research Center.

Join hundreds of Middle East professionals with Al-Monitor PRO.

Business and policy professionals use PRO to monitor the regional economy and improve their reports, memos and presentations. Try it for free and cancel anytime.

Already a Member? Sign in


The Middle East's Best Newsletters

Join over 50,000 readers who access our journalists dedicated newsletters, covering the top political, security, business and tech issues across the region each week.
Delivered straight to your inbox.


What's included:
Our Expertise

Free newsletters available:

  • The Takeaway & Week in Review
  • Middle East Minute (AM)
  • Daily Briefing (PM)
  • Business & Tech Briefing
  • Security Briefing
  • Gulf Briefing
  • Israel Briefing
  • Palestine Briefing
  • Turkey Briefing
  • Iraq Briefing

Premium Membership

Join the Middle East's most notable experts for premium memos, trend reports, live video Q&A, and intimate in-person events, each detailing exclusive insights on business and geopolitical trends shaping the region.

$25.00 / month
billed annually

Become Member Start with 1-week free trial
What's included:
Our Expertise AI-driven

Memos - premium analytical writing: actionable insights on markets and geopolitics.

Live Video Q&A - Hear from our top journalists and regional experts.

Special Events - Intimate in-person events with business & political VIPs.

Trend Reports - Deep dive analysis on market updates.

All premium Industry Newsletters - Monitor the Middle East's most important industries. Prioritize your target industries for weekly review:

  • Capital Markets & Private Equity
  • Venture Capital & Startups
  • Green Energy
  • Supply Chain
  • Sustainable Development
  • Leading Edge Technology
  • Oil & Gas
  • Real Estate & Construction
  • Banking

We also offer team plans. Please send an email to and we'll onboard your team.

Already a Member? Sign in

Israel Briefing Israel Briefing

Israel Briefing

Top Israel stories in your inbox each week

Trend Reports

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (4th R) attends a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping (3rd L) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on February 22, 2019. (Photo by HOW HWEE YOUNG / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read HOW HWEE YOUNG/AFP via Getty Images)

From roads to routers: The future of China-Middle East connectivity

A general view shows the solar plant in Uyayna, north of Riyadh, on March 29, 2018. - On March 27, Saudi announced a deal with Japan's SoftBank to build the world's biggest solar plant. (Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE / AFP) (Photo credit should read FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images)

Regulations on Middle East renewable energy industry starting to take shape

Start your PRO membership today.

Join the Middle East's top business and policy professionals to access exclusive PRO insights today.

Join Al-Monitor PRO Start with 1-week free trial