Finance Minister Ali Hasan Khalil. The Daily Star
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A long-simmering land dispute in the Jbeil district flared up Sunday as Finance Minister Ali Hasan Khalil hit back at critics who had accused the government of seeking to seize lands from the towns of Aqoura and Lasa. Khalil, who had issued a memo calling for conducting land surveys throughout Lebanon, said that the memo had nothing to do with territories in the old Mount Lebanon region, in a clear reference to Aqoura and Lasa, which have recently been at the center of a heated controversy over land ownership and appropriation.Soueid claimed that land seizures in Lasa, a predominantly Shiite town in Jbeil, which has been involved in a land ownership dispute with the Maronite patriarchate, covered around 40 out of 96 real estate parcels he said were owned by the Maronite Church.Khalil vowed to preserve state property that has been stolen across the country.
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