UN Sec. Council: Shaba Farms are Syrian (JERUSALEM POST) By JPOST.COM STAFF 01/29/05)
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The UN Security Council ruled on Friday that the controversial Shaba
Farms along Israel´s northern border belongs to Syria, not to
All 15 Security Council members adopted the proposal, which was
drafted by France and co-sponsored by the United States, Britain,
Denmark and Greece.
The draft concluded that Israel has fully complied with UN Security
Council Resolution 425, which obligated Israel to withdraw to the UN-
delineated blue line border.
Russia, Algeria and Lebanon criticized the decision.
In addition, the Security Council extended the mandate for the UN
Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) to remain in Lebanon for an
additional six months, until July 31.
The council also advised Secretary-General Kofi Annan to consider a
restructuring of the UNIFIL mandate in southern Lebanon. The 2,000-
member peacekeeping force has been stationed in southern Lebanon
The resolution rebuked Beirut, saying it should "extend and exercise
its sole authority in the south," a reference to the control that
Hizbullah has in southern Lebanon. The Shi´ite organization has often
battled with IDF troops in the Mount Dov area, where the Shaba Farms
Hizbullah claims the Shaba Farms area should have been returned to
Lebanon when Israel withdrew from south Lebanon in May 2000, even
though the area is part of the region captured by Israel from Syria
in the Six Day War.
Since the Israeli pullout the past three years have been the quietest
for residents of the confrontation-line communities for several
The Lebanese government, too, perceives Shaba Farms as part of
Lebanon. The resolution said the "continually asserted position" by
Beirut was "not compatible" with past council resolutions or reports
Hizbullah launched a propaganda campaign to win backing for its
claim, first and foremost from its Shi´ite constituency and the
Lebanese population generally, as well as from the government and, of
course, Syria, the controlling power in Lebanon.
It easily succeeded in getting the necessary support, enabling it to
continue to function as a military force, thus setting the stage for
limited operations to "liberate" the disputed territory.
Anne Patterson, the US acting ambassador, told the council that the
biggest impediment to peacekeeping was "the continued specter of
armed militias in southern Lebanon, coupled with the Lebanese
government´s unwillingness to assert its sole and effective control
over all its territory."
Quoted by Reuters, Patterson said that disputed claims to the area
were no excuse for allowing Hizbullah to initiate acts of violence
along the blue line border. (© 1995-2005, The Jerusalem Post 01/29/05)
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