debkafile: Israel began pulling troops out of an area on the northern edge of divided Ghajar village Tuesday in an unpublicized deal with UNIFIL

Israel-Lebanese border villages were not given notice of the move.
The patch of land was quietly handed to the United Nations Interim Force, UNIFIL which set up positions and checkpoints on the spot. The withdrawal was finalized at UNIFIL headquarters in Ras Naqoura between Lebanese and Israeli army officers and the peace force commander, French General Alain Pellegrini.
Israeli military sources were furious over the secret pullback when its security applications could be grave for the Israeli border population. They said that the UN force cannot be trusted with border security in a strategic area opposite Metullah when it refuses to raise a finger against Hizballah’s barefaced replacement of its former fortifications and lookout posts opposite Israel.
Our political sources report prime minister Ehud Olmert hurried the concession along in secret ahead of his trip to Washington Sunday to meet President George W. Bush. He is keen to show how closely Israel is abiding by UN resolution 1701 unlike Hizballah.
Pellegrini voiced hope for an agreement “very soon for full IDF withdrawal from Lebanese territory,” including the northern part of Ghajar village.
An Israeli military official said the withdrawal had begun from “open areas north of Ghajar, but the IDF deployment in the village itself had not changed.” The UN-drawn “blue line” runs through the village, dividing it between Lebanon and Israel although most of its inhabitants have opted for Israeli citizenship. During the Lebanon War, Israeli troops moved into the Lebanese side of Ghajar to keep Hizballah from taking up strategic positions there.

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