by Chana Ya’ar
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is set to announce to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that Israel plans to withdraw from the northern border village of Ghajar.
Netanyahu will present the proposal to Ban when he meets with him in New York on Monday, according to Israeli officials, who made the announcement overnight Saturday.
The Prime Minister, expected to be in the United States for five days, will allegedly ask the security cabinet to approve the plan upon his return.
Israel has been discussing the proposal to withdraw from the northern side of the village, which straddles the border with Lebanon, for several months with the commander of the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).
The international border set by the United Nations, known as the “blue line,” runs directly through the middle of the village. Likud Deputy Minister Ayoub Kara, a Druze, warned in February that abandoning the village to U.N. forces could lead to its eventual takeover by Hizbullah terrorists.
Kara vowed last year to “fight with my last drop of blood” against Israel’s withdrawal from the village, many of whose 2,200 residents hold Israeli citizenship and have expressed fears of being forced to live under Lebanese rule.
Netanyahu also is scheduled to meet Sunday with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden in New Orleans, where the two men are to speak at the annual Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly. He is also expected to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the event.