Lebanon's Hizbollah movement will “limit its conflict against Israel to the 11-km front line in the Shabaa Farms,” a senior Hizbollah commander said Tuesday, adding that directs attacks on the Jewish state had been ruled out for now, reported the Daily Star newspaper.
Hajj Mustafa defined Hizbollah's current theater of operations as running in a northeasterly direction from Moghr Shabaa, at the foot of the disputed territory, to the Israeli listening post on a mountain peak two kilometers southeast of Shabaa village.
"The government says it's our land and we will resist and liberate it from Moghr Shabaa to the 'radar' (the Israeli listening post) at Shabaa," Hajj Mustapha said, tapping a map of the Shabaa Farms area.
All 14 of the original Shabaa farmsteads are included within the area Hajj Mustapha marked as territory to be liberated, said the paper.
However, his boundaries excluded the village of Nkhaile, 1.5 kilometers west of Moghr Shabaa, which was occupied by Israeli troops during the June war of 1967 along with the Shabaa Farms and the Golan Heights.
Like the Shabaa Farms, Nkhaile was inhabited by Lebanese citizens but is considered by the United Nations to fall within Israeli-occupied Syria, said the paper.
Because Nkhaile lies only one kilometer north of the Israeli border, Lebanon in 1947 transferred the village to the jurisdiction of the Syrian military for a 10-year period.
The agreement elapsed 44 years ago and the village is, thus, considered to fall under Lebanese sovereignty.
The exclusion of Nkhaile from Hizbollah's theater of operations offers a possible loophole for continued military activity against Israel in the event that the Israeli government decides to pull its troops out of the Shabaa Farms, according to the paper.
Hajj Mustafa refused to comment on Hizbollah's future strategy if the Shabaa Farms are returned to Lebanon, but declared: "As long as there is an inch of land under occupation by the enemy and our detainees have not been released, we will continue our liberation efforts."
Meanwhile, Haaretz newspaper reported that Israeli troops were on maximal alert along the Lebanon border, fearing attacks by Hizbollah, marking the first anniversary Wednesday of Israel's troop withdrawal from south Lebanon.
It said Israeli soldiers had reduced the number of patrols along the border, to reduce their vulnerability to possible Hizbollah attempts to attack or kidnap Israeli troops – Albawaba.com
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