Shib'a Farms Dispute and Its Implications [August 7, 2001]   [open pdf - 327KB]

"Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon in May 2000 left several small but sensitive territorial issues unresolved, notably, a roughly 10 square mile enclave at the southern edge of the Lebanese-Syrian border known as the Shib'a Farms. Israel did not evacuate this enclave, arguing that it is not Lebanese territory but rather is a part of the Syrian Golan Heights, which Israel occupied in 1967. Lebanon, supported by Syria, asserts that this territory is part of Lebanon and should have been evacuated by Israel when the latter abandoned its self-declared security zone in May 2000. On June 16, 2000, the U.N. Secretary General informed the Security Council that the requirement for Israel to withdraw from Lebanon had been met. The Secretary General pointed out, however, that the U.N. determination does not prejudice the rights of Syria and Lebanon to agree on an international boundary in the future. This obscure enclave has become a focal point for tensions in the Lebanese- Israeli-Syrian border area in the aftermath of Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon. Neither the Lebanese Armed Forces nor the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) has established an effective presence in the border territory vacated by Israel in 2000."

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CRS Report for Congress, RL31078
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