The Israel-controlled Shaba Farms in the Mount Dov region do not belong to Lebanon, Lebanese opposition leader Walid Jumblatt said Tuesday.
The disputed land known as the Shaba Farms lies along the border between Lebanon and Israel, at the northern edge of the Golan Heights.
Jumblatt’s statement is unprecedented, as Lebanon has repeatedly claimed the land as its own since Israel’s withdrawal from the country in 2000. Hizbullah even referred to the dispute over the area as one of the reasons it is continuing its armed struggle against Israel.
In an interview with al-Arabiya television, Jumblatt said the Shaba Farms area is not Syrian land and that “we must end this game that is meant to serve different interests."
‘No peace agreement with Israel’
Jumbaltt, the Druze leader of the Progressive Socialist Party and head of the Lebanese Democratic Forum, said if Syria would adhere to the claim that the Shaba Farms belong to Lebanon, then Lebanon would demand the implementation of U.N. Resolution 452, which calls for an Israeli withdrawal from all Lebanese areas.
“But we are tired of this political game that nobody believes in anymore and is designed to preserve the tense atmosphere,” he said.
Regarding peace with Israel, Jumblatt said, “if Israel and Syria would sign a peace agreement with Israel, I would propose the relations between Lebanon and Israel should continue to be based on a cease-fire.”
President George W. Bush said following a meeting with Jordanian King Abdullah the U.S. regards Hizbullah as a terror organization and he hopes it would lay down its arms and prove to the world it is not a threat to peace.