Al-Ghajar is the name of village and also of a region
in the caza (district) of Wazzani (Wazzani-Hasbaya).
It is south-east of Marjeyoun, borders Israel and
Syrian Golan, and lies to the west of Jabal esh-Sheikh,
known in the West as Mount Hermon. The region is
eighty miles from Beirut and stands at a height
of between1,800 and 2,000 feet. It can be reached
through the route Tyre-Zahrani, Nabatieh, Deir Mimas
and Marjeyoun or from the West Beqaa.
This region which is at present split by the partial
Israeli occupation is the subject of discussion
at the international level. Al-Ghajar village is
cut in two, with the southern part under Israeli
control and the northern part occupied by UNIFIL
forces. Al-Ghajar is still waiting for a just solution.
Originally Syrian, Al-Ghajar is situated between
Lebanon and the part of Golan annexed by Israel
The blue line left one third of Ghajar in Lebanon
and two-thirds in the zone under the control of
the Hebrew state. During the July 2006 offensive
against the Hizbollah, the Israeli army seized control
of the entire village. There were a number of clashes
between the Hizbollah and the Israeli troops. The
latter wished to isolate Ghajar from the rest of
Lebanon as part of the annexation of Golan.
The village is situated on a strategic hill overlooking
the Wazzani River, which rises in Lebanon and is
an affluent of the River Jordan, flowing into Israeli
territory and replenishing the Lake of Galilee (Tiberias).
As for the origin of the name Ghajar, it may come
from a word meaning Gypsies, if indeed there were
Gypsies in the region.
The Israeli army has put up an electrified razor-wire
fence nine feet high, which together with a layer
of sand surrounds the village on its eastern, northern
and western sides, while on the southern side Israel
has cut the road between Al-Ghajar and Abbasseyeh
with a deep trench. In this way it has acted as
a gangster state, aggressive and expansionist.
Thus the Hebrew State has altered the blue line
drawn by the United Nations in May of 2000. The
fields cultivated by the Lebanese, the Maronite
Church property, possessions, and so on, have finished
up on the wrong side of the wire. The divided village
of Ghajar is effectively under total occupation
by the Israeli army. No local traffic is allowed
on the roads, but trucks carry richly fertile Lebanese
soil to the arid Israeli colonies. Lebanese civilians
are seized and interrogated for hours. Aircraft
fly daily in the Lebanese sky, and money and jewelry
disappear, thanks to the Israeli mafias on the scene
both during and after the war.
The return of this plot of land will demand months,
if not years, of negotiation. If Israel does not
withdraw from Ghajar, it means that it only wishes
to cause trouble. The two thousand Syrians residing
there have been given Israeli nationality.
The Israelis still continue to pump water from the
river. Life has returned to certain villages which
were deserted during the war. The plateau of Ghajar
on the lower slopes of Mount Hermon offers an unrivalled
panorama. This highly picturesque region lends itself
to tourist projects which however must wait for
the aggressor to withdraw.
Joseph Matar Translation from the French: Kenneth J.
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