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Middle East

Israeli-Lebanese Border

Photo by Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

On 11 March 1978 Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) operatives, led by Dalal Mugrabi, carried out the Coastal Road Massacre within Israel which resulted in the deaths of 37 Israelis, including 13 children. In response, Israeli forces invaded southern Lebanon from which the PLO operated regularly during the 1970s. Starting on the night of March 14–15 and culminating a few days later, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) troops occupied the entire southern part of the country except for the city of Tyre and its surrounding area. This operation is known in Israel as Operation Litani.

On 15 March 1978 the Lebanese government submitted a strong protest to the United Nations Security Council against the Israeli invasion, stating that it had no connection with the Palestinian operation. On 19 March 1978 the Council adopted Resolution 425, in which it called upon Israel to cease immediately its military action and withdraw its forces from all Lebanese territory. It also established the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). The first UNIFIL troops arrived in the area on 23 March 1978.

The Blue Line is based on the deployment of the IDF prior to 14 March 1978 and is a border demarcation between Lebanon and Israel published by the United Nations on June 7, 2000 for the purposes of determining whether Israel had fully withdrawn from Lebanon.

During our driving tour we stopped at the Israeli-Lebanese Border at Rosh HaNikra on the Blue Line. This area is a grotto geologic formation on the border of the two countries located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. These grottos are cavernous tunnels formed by the sea. A tunnel was built here for the Haifa-Beirut railroad line in 1968. The area is a popular tourist location and a cable car exists to take visitors down to the tunnels.

We stopped to take photos at the border and had a snack and drinks at HaTsuk Restaurant overlooking the sea for a beautiful sunset. My friend Najat was with us and she is from Lebanon so we joked that we had brought her home.

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