The United Nations and the government denied a Haaretz report on Wednesday that said the world body had requested Israel transfer the disputed Shaba Farms area on the Lebanese border to UN peacekeepers."The UN has not asked the government of Israel to hand over the Shaba Farms to the UN," a UN official said."The UN's cartogropher continues his work and will be visiting the area shortly. The secretary-general remains engaged on the issue."Jerusalem also denied the report.According to the Haaretz report, printed on Wednesday, the United Nations transmitted messages to Israel in recent weeks that the organization's mapping experts have determined that the Shaba Farms on Mount Dov, now controlled by Israel, is Lebanese territory.The report said that the UN, which has communicated to Israel that the disposition of the Shaba Farms should be dealt with as soon as possible, has proposed to senior government officials that Israel withdraw from the area and that it be considered international territory to be controlled by UNIFIL.Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert oppose the idea, Haaretz said. The size of, and sovereignty over, the Shaba Farms has been a matter of controversy due to the way the border between Syria and Lebanon was marked during the French Mandate between the two world wars.
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