Litani river

River of Lebanon which rises in the Bekaa valley. Its average annual flow is 700 million m³.

Thanks to the Karoun dam, built at 810 metres altitude, part of its waters are used by Lebanon for irrigation purposes and the production of electricity.

The first plan to set up a Jewish State in the Middle East, submitted in February 1919, to the Paris Peace Conference by the World Zionist Organisation provided for the assimilation of the lower third of the Litani river into this state. Since the operation code named « Litani » carried out in 1978, Israel has occupied the left bank of the river in what it called its « security zone ». Several observations, including some made by the UNIFIL, suggested that Israel was diverting part of the river for its own use since 1982. There were plans to deflect the lower part of the Litani so that it would join the Jordan valley. However, the withdrawal of the Israeli army in May 2000 concluded by the then Labour Prime Minsiter Ehud Barak led to the cancellation of these semi-official projects, thus increasing the pressure on the Syrian Golan Heights (annexed by Israel in 1981), main water reservoir for Israel.