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Lebanese protesters plant flag on Israeli-occupied Shebaa Farms Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Lebanese protesters plant flag on Israeli-occupied Shebaa Farms

Lebanon has repeatedly asserted that the Farms are located within its sovereign territory [AFP]

Date of publication: 19 August, 2016

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Residents of south Lebanon crossed into the Israeli-occupied Shebaa Farms on Friday to protest the construction of a new route to be used by Israeli forces.
Locals in south Lebanon stormed on Friday the Israeli-occupied Shebaa Farms to protest the construction of a new route to be used by the Israeli forces.

Protesters crossed into the occupied territory, planting a Lebanese flag on a hill top and sending the Israeli forces onto high alert with around 500 troops immediately deployed to the area.

Defying the snipers positioned across the Farms, dozens of protesters crossed the barbed-wire fence that separates the liberated Lebanese territories from those still under Israeli occupation.

"The aim of this protest is to stop Israeli occupying forces from carrying out further construction works in the occupied Shebaa Farms," MP Qassim Hashem, who was present at the protest, told The New Arab.

"The road works are a clear violation of Lebanese sovereignty," he said,  "any Israeli ambitions to maintain a permanent presence on our land must be crushed immediately."

He added: "Today, by crossing the barbed-wire fence and raising the Lebanese flag, we have defied the Israeli occupation."

Earlier on Friday, the Lebanese foreign minister Gebran Bassil filed a complaint to the Lebanese mission to the UN in New York over "flagrant Israeli violation to resolution 1701," which calls for the protection of the rights of civilian population and the sovereignty of the Lebanese state.

The occupied Shebaa Farms remain a disputed territory between Lebanon and Syria, which Israel refused to surrender after it withdrew from southern Lebanon in 2000

"The occupation authorities begin imposing new measures and rules on the occupied part of the town and its residents, forcing them to pay taxes, establish compounds, build new roads and construct infrastructure," Bassil said in his complaint.

The occupied Shebaa Farms remain a disputed territory between Lebanon and Syria, which Israel refused to surrender after it withdrew from southern Lebanon in 2000.

Located on the border between Lebanon and the Syrian Golan Heights, the Farms measure to about 11 kilometres [7 miles] in length and 2.5 kilometres [1.5 miles] in width. 

Lebanon has repeatedly asserted that they are located within its sovereign territory, but the UN has failed to press Israel into ending its 49-year-old occupation.

Earlier this week, Israeli forces commenced construction works in the area to build a 2-kilometre-long road [1.2 mile] leading from the Farms onto the occupied Kfar Shuba hills.

Construction works were forced into a halt on Wednesday after an Israeli bulldozer collided with a military vehicle, the Lebanese Daily Star reported.

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