The UN has overturned a major Israeli claim. It says the Occupied Shebaa Farms is Lebanese.
America and Israel say the land is Syrian. Lebanon and Syria have always insisted it is Lebanese.
Why does this matter? Because it is about the future of Hizbollah.
If the Shebaa Farms is in Syria, then Israel is not occupying any of Lebanon. And that is important because Hizbollah says it will continue its armed struggle until all of Lebanon is liberated.
So is Lebanon occupied or not?
The UN position has always been ‘no’ – Shebaa is Syrian. But the UN left the door open by saying Syria could put it in writing that the Shebaa is Lebanese, and transfer the territory. At the heart of the problem is that the Lebanese-Syrian border is poorly demarcated.
Now, UN cartographers have looked at the maps and decreed that the Shebaa IS Lebanese, and so Israel DOES still occupy Lebanon.