Last modified: 2007-07-07 by dov gutterman
Keywords: raghar | aghar | mo'atza mekomit raghar | majles raghar el-mahaly | golan heights |
Links: FOTW homepage | search | disclaimer and copyright | write us | mirrors
This is one of the villages in the Golan Heights, an area of Syria occupied by Israel since 1967 and unilaterally annexed in 1981. Under Israeli law and de facto, the Golan Heights are part of Israel. International law and the United Nations still recognize the Golan Heights as part of Syria.
Local Council Aghar is the only Alawite community in Israel. The Alawites are Moslem sect which is the biggest minority in Syria (but control the government as President Asad belong to this sect).
The story about this unique village started with the the agreement about the border line between Syria and Lebanon in 1949, putting this village in Syria (and by that changing the Anglo-French agreement of 1923) even thou it almost completely disconnected from it by the Hermon Ridge. When Israel took over the Golan Heights in 1967, this village wasn't touched as Lebanon didn't took part at the war (and the village was considered as Lebanese according to 1923 maps) and this village was no threat. Now completely disconnected from Syria and unwanted by Lebanon (not willing to annex a Syrian village), it found itself as "independent state" of 36 families.....
The inhabitants of the village decided, therefore, to annex themselves to Israel and came with petition to the Israeli Government which accepted that. They all become Israeli Citizens. It became an Local Council in 1975.
To make things more complicated, during the time when Israeli controlled South Lebanon, the inhabitants of the village, situated on the east bank of Hatzbzni River, build housed also on the west bank of it, which is a Lebanese soil..
As Israel withdraw from Lebanon it was found out that the river is the international recognized border line and the houses on the west bank should be under Lebanese control.....
Now the UN control the west side of the village and it is the only place where Israeli citizens live in Lebanon....
Dov Gutterman, 30 April 2005