Will Lebanon’s Arab tribes fill Saudi Arabia’s ‘Hariri void’ in upcoming elections?

The Arab Tribe Federation of Lebanon has grown into a powerful political force that may be poised to replace the Future Movement as Saudi Arabia’s main Sunni political ally. 

March 28 2022

Sheikh Jasem Al-Askar, head of the Arab Tribes Federation in Lebanon, is poised to play an outsized role in the country’s upcoming elections.Photo Credit: MTV Lebanon

By Radwan Mortada

Leaders of Lebanon’s Arab Tribes are to participate in the country’s upcoming parliamentary elections alongside the right-wing Christian Lebanese Forces Party (LF), allegedly based on orders by Saudi Arabia.

Sheikh Jasem Al-Askar, head of the Arab Tribes Federation in Lebanon, is considered one of the most prominent players within the clans, and has strong relations with Saudi Arabia, to which his clan is affiliated.

Although his views often provoke controversy, he is backed by an extensive network of Arab tribes within various Lebanese regions, tens of thousands of whom were naturalized in 1994 by former prime minister Rafiq Hariri to serve his electoral ambitions.

Today, because of high birth rates, the tribes are more than half a million strong, have altered the demographic sectarian balance in various Lebanese regions, and could be the deciding factor in the country’s upcoming elections. Importantly, the tribes have grown to represent one third of the Sunni electorate.

The Arab tribes were launched into the national spotlight in July 2021 when some elements targeted and killed several members of Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah, a group despised by Riyadh.

A few months later, the Lebanese Forces were also implicated in the killings of Hezbollah supporters and their allies during a peaceful protest on 14 October 2021 in Beirut.

According to reports, the Saudis have demanded that Arab tribal elders electorally support LF leader Samir Geagea in opposition to the Hezbollah political alliance that swept Lebanon’s last elections.

Together, the two parties would provide Riyadh with some clout in Lebanon’s next election, which the Saudis lost when relations with former PM Saad Hariri and his political party soured.

Sheikh Jasem Al-Askar and a number of tribal notables have now sought to adopt the LF’s lists for a number of candidates in the country’s heavily-anticipated May elections.

How do Arab clans see the current reality of the Lebanese state? 

The current reality of the Lebanese state is not similar to the state we envision, we don’t believe there is a free state nor is there independent sovereignty. It is also not a state governed by constitution in accordance with the Taif Agreement. The Taif Agreement has not been implemented, and the problem is that not all Lebanese believe in implementing its provisions so that salvation can be achieved to build a civil state, as was attempted by the martyr, Prime Minister Rafik Hariri before his martyrdom.

From our point of view, when Hariri was assassinated, the Taif Agreement was assassinated with him along with the state. The problem is that democracy has become consensual between political parties, through which the state has turned into states with partisan and feudal militias exhausted by corruption. This has led to the dismantling of institutions amid looting, stealing and sharing them among political parties.

The name of the state remained and all its components collapsed while Hezbollah succeeded in every aspect for its own benefit and for the benefit of its axis, which is part of a regional project.

How did the Arab tribes interpret the withdrawal of former Prime Minister Saad Hariri and the suspension of his political work? 

The views of the tribal federation does not necessarily represent the consensus of the tribes in Lebanon, but from 2005 until 2017, the federation was the most loyal in adhering to the project of Hariri, second only to his son, Saad in building the state. Unfortunately we did not meet with Saad when he was prime minister but we expected to meet him and involve us in decision making out of respect for our years of support.

We do not accept compromising on the vision of the martyr prime minister [Rafiq Hariri] from anyone, which we have endorsed and sacrificed and worked a lot for since 2005 – even if asked to do so by Saad Hariri himself.

What we have read in prime minister Saad Hariri’s announcement of stopping the political work of the Future Movement, is that there are differences between Hariri and Saudi Arabia on the political performance. We do not know any further details.

And I don’t agree on what was being circulated about a Saudi desire for a military confrontation with Hezbollah. If the decision to stop political action is an objection to Hezbollah’s dominance in Lebanon, then this is an explicit admission that Hariri’s resignation in 2017 was a correct decision. [Editor’s note: Hariri was forced to resign his prime ministership via television during a trip to Saudi Arabia, where he was reportedly ‘roughed up’ by his hosts. Lebanon’s president Michel Aoun refused to accept the resignation until Hariri was back safely on Lebanese soil].

President Saad was too late at that time. If this is the reason, I think that it is imperative for the [Progressive] Socialist Party (PSP), the Lebanese Forces party and the rest of the other political forces to follow in the footsteps of Hariri and the Future Movement.

Will you boycott the parliamentary elections if the Future Movement is reluctant to run? 

On 15 January, the final statement of the fourth conference of the Arab Tribes Federation of Lebanon was issued.  We announced our decision regarding the parliamentary elections and that we have great doubts about the postponement of the elections and the potential collapse of the state.

Last month we held a meeting through which we announced our position on parliamentary elections, by studying the stage in all its aspects and the benefit of running or not running in the elections, we will announce the outcome of the meeting for public opinion, God willing.

It is said that the Arab tribes will ally with the Lebanese Forces Party in different regions, what is the validity of this claim? 

The Federation has not announced any alliance to date and the union’s president has not met with the head of the LP since 2016. All that is rumored remains just speculation, media talk and analysis.

Is it possible to ally with [Samir Geagea] the killer of Prime Minister Rashid Karami, who was one of the Sunni leaders of Lebanon? 

To date, we have not allied ourselves with anyone, regardless of our position on the need to live together, build the state and forget the past.

We believe that at the moment this talk is just fuelling sectarianism and conflict and that it was better to ask this question in the face of the quartet in 2005. We were already within the March 14 alliance, and there were no objections to this alliance.

What are the objectives of the last conference you held at your home, and what message did you want to send? 

Our goals and rewards have not changed since the announcement of the launch of the Federation in 2012; we in Lebanon are an independent political equation that believes in Free Lebanon. We are also Arabs and we believe in the Constitution and the principles of Taif, our moderate approach rejects terrorism and extremism and we dream of a free civil state based on social justice. We also acknowledge our Arab and tribal roots and our mission was manifested in the presence of the Grand Mufti of the Lebanese Republic, Sheikh Abdul Latif Deryan, for our last conference where we stressed before him that moderation is our approach.

Why are you standing today under the umbrella of Saudi Arabia?

We can confirm that we stand under the Saudi umbrella not only from today but from ancient times due to our Arab heritage. Saudi Arabia is also at the forefront of the Arab world, this loyalty is natural and is what connects us with the Kingdom of religion, nationalism and tribes. The Kingdom is the pole of Islam and the land of revelation and the land of the Two Holy Mosques and to which we are united.

Do you get money from Saudi Arabia? 

From the first moment we announced our independence and political aspirations we were hoping and tried to convey our voice to develop our regions and villages to get service institutions like other political parties and forces. We hope that the Kingdom will provide us with material support, but today we can say that we have not received any development, service, relief or financial assistance.

What if Saudi Arabia tries to use you in sectarian fighting to confront Hezbollah?

Firstly we are moderate and we are doves of peace. In 2016, we brought together the tribes of Baalbek-Hermel and spoke out against sectarianism. However we have already stated and repeat that when anyone attacks us we will defend ourselves and those who fight us we will fight them. We do not compromise on our dignity.

As for the question of Saudi Arabia’s attempt to use us in sectarian fighting, I will not answer such hypotheses because it is Saudi Arabia that has always worked to achieve the security and stability of Lebanon, and it is the one who rebuilt it and not those who destroyed it, so I will not answer illusions.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

Lebanese president emphasizes Hezbollah has no influence on the country’s security

President Aoun’s comments were made after he and Pope Francis spoke about the ‘peaceful religious co-existence’ between various sects that exists in Lebanon

March 22 2022

Pope Francis and President Michel Aoun (Photo credit: Vatican Media)

ByNews Desk

During an interview with Italian daily La Repubblica, Lebanese President Michel Aoun asserted that the Hezbollah resistance movement is not a terror group and that they have no influence in security matters.

“Resisting the occupation is not terrorism, and Hezbollah, which is made up of Lebanese people and which liberated south Lebanon from Israeli occupation, has no influence on the security reality in Lebanon,” Aoun said following a meeting with Pope Francis in the Vatican on 21 March.

In the interview, Aoun emphasized there was no chance of peace for as long as the territories of Lebanon and Syria are occupied by Israel.

Regarding the dire socio-economic situation currently plaguing Lebanon, the president and the Pope said they hope the crisis can be resolved through available measures, including international aid as well as through reforms in the Lebanese government.

The two also addressed the “disastrous consequences” of the Port of Beirut explosion which occurred on 4 August 2020, noting that the families of victims still demand justice and the truth behind the tragic event.

Tarek Bitar, the judge who was overseeing the Port of Beirut explosion, is accused of politicizing the blast and was suspended multiple times due to bias.

The Pope and Aoun both noted Lebanon’s unique position in the world as a model for co-existence between different religions.

“Soon I will visit Lebanon. This is a decision I have taken, because this country remains, despite anything, a model for the world,” announced Pope Francis, as reported by the office of the Lebanese president.

Despite general co-existence throughout Lebanon, sectarianism still threatens its security.

On 14 October 2021, the far-right Lebanese Forces (LF) party opened fire on an unarmed protest against the politicization of the Port of Beirut blast investigation. The protest included members of Hezbollah and Amal, both Shia Muslim, as well as the Marada Movement, a Christian party.

Seven unarmed protestors were killed, including Maryam Farhat, a woman who was deliberately shot by a sniper while inside her home, standing by a window.

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah responded to the tragedy, which was seen as an attempt to re-ignite a civil war, by stating that the Lebanese Forces party, which claim to represent Lebanese Christians, are themselves the biggest threat to Christians in Lebanon.

The LF has a history of killing other Christians, as they did during the Lebanese civil war, turning their sectarianism into a political rather than religious cause.

The Lebanese Forces party was formed out of the remnants of militias that served the Israeli occupation of Lebanon until the year 2000. Today, their foreign sponsors include Saudi Arabia.

كلام جعجع عن سعر الصرف وكلام شيا عن الغاز والكهرباء

الاربعاء 12 كانون أول 2022

 ناصر قنديل

اذا وافقنا على دعوة حزب القوات اللبنانية لقراءة كلام رئيسه عن ربط تحسّن سعر الصرف تلقائياً إذا فازت القوات بالانتخابات، بنيّة حسنة بصفته ربطاً يستند الى قراءة القوات لأزمة سعر الصرف، كما قال جعجع، بصفتها أزمة انعدام ثقة سببها وجود أغلبية نيابية وسياسية حليفة للمقاومة، وأن انقلاب هذه الأغلبية سيعيد هذه الثقة، وبالتالي سيعيد لسعر الصرف معادلته الاقتصادية، بدلاً من السياسية، والسعر الاقتصادي للدولار، كما قال جعجع، أقل بكثير من سعر السوق، فإن هذه القراءة بالنية الحسنة لن تكون لصالح القوات ورئيسها على الإطلاق، ولعلها تكون مدخلاً لاستنتاجات أشد قسوة بحق القوات ورئيسها من القراءة التي تتهمها القوات بشيطنة كلام رئيسها، وأخذه في سوق المزايدات الاتهاميّة.

سننطلق من كلام جعجع نفسه ودون أية إضافة، كما ورد أعلاه، ونثبت نقاط اتفاق معه، أولها أن السعر السائد والمرتفع والمتصاعد ارتفاعاً، هو سعر سياسي وليس مطابقاً للسعر الاقتصادي الأدنى حكماً من هذا السعر السياسي، وثانيها أن وراء هذا السعر السياسي هو هذا الصراع على وجهة لبنان السياسيّة بين وجهتين، واحدة تمثلها المقاومة وتحالفاتها، والثانية تمثلها جبهة داخليّة يقدّم جعجع وحزبه نفسيهما كطليعة لها، وتضم معهما مرجعيّات روحيّة وقوى وشخصيّات وأحزاباً ومنظمات مجتمع مدني، وكل منهم يجاهر بموقفه المعادي للمقاومة، ويتهم الوجهة السياسية التي تمثلها بالتسبب بعزل لبنان عربياً ودولياً وحرمانه من دعم قوى خارجية تملك قدرات مالية كبرى، ما تسبب بأزمته المالية ويتسبب بتفاقمهما؛ وتقف وراء هذه الجبهة الداخلية، جبهة خارجية تبدأ من واشنطن وتنتهي في الرياض، تقول إنها تخوض علناً معركة تحجيم واضعاف حزب الله وتحالفاته، وتعتبر الانتخابات النيابية فرصة لتحقيق هذا الهدف، وتربط علناً كما تقول بيانات وزارة الخارجية الأميركية ومجلس الوزراء السعودي، أي مساعدة للبنان بوقوف اللبنانيين بوجه حزب الله ومقاومته، وتعاقب قوى سياسية بتهمة التحالف معه، وتعلن استعدادها لفك هذه العقوبات إذا فكت هذه القوى حلفها مع حزب الله.

هذا التفسير الذي يقدّمه الفريق الذي يتصدر جعجع وحزب القوات النطق بلسانه داخلياً، عبرت عنه السفيرة الأميركية دورتي شيا عندما أرادت الرد على سفن كسر الحصار التي جلب حزب الله عبرها المازوت الإيراني الى لبنان عبر سورية، فأعلنت بلسان إدارتها كسر العقوبات الأميركية المفروضة على لبنان لمنع استجرار الكهرباء الأردنية والغاز المصري، فالأمر الذي تحدّث عنه جعجع ليس مجرد تكهّن سيكولوجي، بل هو معرفة الشريك بالشريك وما يفعل، فالسلة العقابيّة التي يقع لبنان تحت وطأتها ثمن فكها أن يتخلى لبنان عن خيار سياسي وينتقل الى خيار معاكس. والسلة هي، أولاً فتح وإغلاق الأسواق الخليجية أمام الصادرات اللبنانية الزراعية والصناعية ورفع او إقامة الحظر عن السياحة والودائع الخليجية الى لبنان، وثانياً تصنيف لبنان الائتماني لدى الشركات الأميركية الممسكة بأسواق المصارف العالمية وما يترتب على التصنيف من تعامل مع الديون والخطوط الائتمانية واستطراداً تعامل الصناديق والبنوك الدولية مع طلبات لبنان للقروض، وثالثاً السماح بحرية التبادل التجاري بين لبنان وسورية والعراق وإتاحة قيام مشاريع جر النفط العراقي واقامة مصافي النفط اللبنانية، ورابعاً الإنجاز السريع لترسيم حدود ثروات النفط والغاز اللبنانية وفق ما يحقق مصلحة لبنان ويتيح له استثمار ثروات بالمليارات، ويحرر الشركات المعنية بالتنقيب من القيود التي منعت، ولا تزال، قيامها بالتزاماتها. وتكفي مراجعة الخطوات الأميركية والسعودية تجاه لبنان لعشر سنوات مضت ورؤية عكسها لمعرفة ما يبشرنا جعجع بأنه سيحدث إذا انقلب لبنان لصالح الرؤية الأميركية السعودية، التي يجاهر جعجع بتمثيلها، لكن السؤال هو هل سيحدث فعلاً؟

لا حاجة للقول إن وهم نيل الأغلبية كحل سحري لن يبدل وجهة لبنان التي بدأ العقاب الأميركي السعودي لتغييرها، يوم كانت الأغلبية النيابية مع حلفاء واشنطن والرياض قبل عام 2018، ولا حاجة للقول إن نقطة البداية التي يعد بها الأميركي والسعودي هي مجرد نقطة بداية، أولها خذوا الأغلبية، ثم القول هذا غير كاف فشكلوا حكومة لون واحد، ثم خذوا قرارات تشبه قرار حكومة السنيورة في 5 أيار 2008 بتفكيك شبكة اتصالات المقاومة، وصولاً لوصفة الحرب الأهلية الكاملة، وعندها يتفرّجون على لبنان يحترق، وربما تشترك «إسرائيل» في المحرقة، وبعدها لا نفط ولا غاز ولا مَن يحزنون بل هيمنة «إسرائيلية أحادية على ثروات لبنان طالما أن القوة التي يحسب لها «الإسرائيليون» الحساب لم تعد قادرة على فرض معادلة الردع، ولا أسواق مفتوحة مع الجوار ولا من يسوّقون، بل تسوّل للمساعدات على طريقة الدول التي ترتضي دور الملحقات في المحور الأميركي السعودي، ووضع شرط مضمونه الإلتحاق بركب صفقة القرن بعنواني التطبيع وفتح الأسواق للمصارف الإسرائيلية والمرافئ الإسرائيلية، وتوطين اللاجئين الفلسطينيين وربما النازحين السوريين في لبنان، طالما ان الجهة التي عطلت على «إسرائيل» وشركائها مسار صفقة القرن والتطبيع والتوطين قد تم إضعافها.

وحدها وصفة الوفاق الوطني تنقل لبنان الى ضفة يحفظ فيها أسباب القوة التي تحمي ثرواته السيادية ومصالحه الوطنية العليا، وتبني دولة قادرة على وضع سياسات اقتصادية ومالية عنوانها القرار السيادي في النفط والغاز والانفتاح على دول الجوار، وتعزيز مكانة الاقتصاد المنتج، وهيكلة القطاع المصرفي الذي كان شريكاً ومعه مصرف لبنان في تدمير لبنان مالياً وتضييع ودائع اللبنانيين، ووضع آلية قضائيّة غير انتقائية لملاحقة الفساد، لكن ما يقوله سمير جعجع واضح، لبنان محاصَر ومعاقَب ومحروم من حقوقه بقرار أميركيّ سعوديّ، وأنا رجل الأميركي والسعودي وإذا انتخبتم القوات كمحور للأغلبية ولاحقاً سمير جعجع رئيساً للجمهورية عندي ضمانات برفع هذه العقوبات وهذا الحصار. فهل يشَرّف أحداً أن يكون شريكاً في حصار بلده وأهله وأن يحمل لهم شروط الذل التي يفرضها عليه من يحاصره ويعاقبه؟

Palestinian Refugees are Struggling to Survive amid Lebanon’s Deepening Crisis

December 23, 2021

– Katarzyna Rybarczyk is a Political Correspondent for Immigration Advice Service, an immigration law firm based in the UK but operating globally. Through her articles, she aims to raise awareness about security threats worldwide and the challenges facing communities living in low and middle-income countries. She contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle.

By Katarzyna Rybarczyk

As a result of the ongoing Israeli occupation, more than seven million people have fled Palestine to nearby countries. Unfortunately, leaving Palestine does not always mean that their dreams of finding peace and better quality of life are fulfilled. On the contrary, often they find themselves living in degrading conditions and being pushed to the margins of host societies that were supposed to protect them.

In Lebanon, for example, there are nearly half a million Palestinian refugees registered with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and almost half of them live in the country’s twelve official refugee camps for Palestinians. Not only are the living conditions there very poor but refugees receive practically no support from the state.

The situation of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon was concerning even before the crisis but now, faced with meager savings, limited employment opportunities, and skyrocketing inflation, they are destitute and unable to meet their basic needs.

Ghetto-like Settlements

Some Palestinian refugees in Lebanon live in informal tented settlements, but the twelve official camps have turned into permanent dwellings that resemble small impoverished cities with tall concrete houses.

One of the places that Palestinian refugees in Lebanon now call home is the Shatila refugee camp, located on the outskirts of southern Beirut. Shatila, established in 1949, is known primarily for the Sabra and Shatila massacre that lasted for approximately thirty-six hours from 18:00 on 16 September to 08:00 on 18 September 1982. During this time the Lebanese Christian militia, which was under the command of the Israel Defence Forces, slaughtered as many as 3,500 civilians. The exact number of victims is not and most likely will never be known, though.

Initially, Shatila was supposed to temporarily house five hundred people but since its establishment, the camp has grown tenfold. The biggest problem associated with that is that, as refugees in Lebanon are not allowed to build outside of the state assigned camp areas, the growth has mainly been vertical. To accommodate the rapidly expanding population of the camp, new stories keep being added randomly without careful planning or solid foundations being laid first.

Flags with Yasser Arafat in Shatila. (Photo: Katarzyna Rybarczyk, supplied)

Since Shatila was frequently targeted during the civil war in Lebanon, a significant proportion of the camp was destroyed. To this day, the infrastructure has not been renovated and those who reside there often live in buildings that pose a threat to their lives or that have no windows, doors, or running water.

Furthermore, the Lebanese government does not get involved in what is happening in refugee camps, so there is no garbage collection system in place, no security forces, and no education or healthcare services provided by the state.

The situation is similar in all other Palestinian camps, or even worse in the ones that house more people such as the Ein El Hilweh Camp, which has the largest concentration of Palestinian refugees in the country.

Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon Lack Fundamental Rights

The exclusion of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon is apparent not only when looking at the conditions they live in but also at their legal status. They are not entitled to Lebanese citizenship and they pass on the refugee status to their children. That means that even new generations of Palestinians born and raised on the Lebanese territory are stuck in the limbo of limited employment opportunities and being stuck in refugee camps.

Palestinian refugees in Lebanon do not have the right to own property and work in certain skilled professions. Even if they want to undertake menial jobs in agriculture or construction, they face obstacles as many of the Lebanese exercise pressure on them to return to violence-ridden Palestine rather than try to settle down in Lebanon. Consequently, Palestinian refugees work mainly in the informal sector where abuses and exploitation are common.

Moreover, to avoid closing their doors completely during Lebanon’s almost total collapse of the economy, employers often have no choice but to lay off some employees. Sadly, unskilled Palestinian workers are usually the first ones to be let go.

Not being able to obtain Lebanese citizenship, Palestinians cannot get Lebanese identity cards and therefore, they cannot access social assistance and government services. To receive medical help or any other form of humanitarian aid, they need to turn to UNRWA and charities.

But as the demand for their services is rising and the costs of preparing food baskets or distributing medicines are going up, UN agencies and aid groups are struggling to cope with helping all those who need it.

The Palestinian Issue is Not a Priority

With seventy-eight percent of the Lebanese living below the poverty line, the economic meltdown and political crisis have caused unimaginable suffering for a significant part of the country’s population, not only for refugees.

Lebanese families desperately need support to cover basic needs, including food. After all, as the Lebanese lira loses value each day, going grocery shopping often means spending one’s whole monthly wage, now equivalent to around $34.

Hence, aid organizations have been focusing primarily on reaching out to the vulnerable Lebanese. Still, more attention needs to be given to the alarming situation of Palestinian refugees as Lebanon is now their home too.

And yet, looking at the Shatila camp reveals the fact that the conditions Palestinian refugees in Lebanon live in are humiliating. Walking around the narrow streets paved with garbage, one is under the impression that those living there are not just ill-treated but have been completely abandoned.

A narrow street filled with waste in the Shatila refugee camp. (Photo: Katarzyna Rybarczyk, supplied)

These people have been in Lebanon for more than seventy years, waiting for the moment when Palestine is stable enough for them to go back. Now, Lebanon is becoming unlivable so thousands fear that they might lose their newly found safety and have to once again seek protection elsewhere.

In Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, Palestinian flags can be seen at every corner but instead of representing pride, it seems like they signify longing to return to their motherland. As the prospects of that happening are currently slim, however, Lebanon needs to at least give refugees a chance to live in dignity.

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Hezbollah MP Hits back at Geagea, Says Feels ‘Pity’ for Him

December 1, 2021

Member of Hezbollah’s Loyalty to Resistance bloc MP Ibrahim Mousawi hit back at accusations made by Head of Lebanese Forces party Samir Geagea that Hezbollah is seeking to delay parliamentary elections.

In a statement late Tuesday, MP Mousawi stressed that Hezbollah’s stance towards date of elections in Lebanon is clear and doubtless, noting that any accusation in this regard is fabricated and baseless.

“Such claims aim at instigation and elector mobilization in a bid to gain more votes,” MP Mousawi said in remarks carried by Al-Manar.

“Hezbollah, who has set his strategy based on great national and solid principles, sees in the election a chance for the Lebanese people to renew the political life and to freely choose their representatives at the Parliament as part of the democratic system ensured by the Constitution,” the Lebanese lawmaker stated.

“On the contrary, others’ policies don’t adopt national and solid principles, and deal temporarily with the issues and according to their interests. Those wait for the elections, hoping to turn the tables,” Mousawi said, stressing that those will “sooner or later discover that they are deluded.”

“We feel pity for those people, as we pray for them to be on the right way in order to preserve our country from collapse,” the Hezbollah MP concluded his statement.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

Judges protecting judges: why the Beirut blast investigation is a dud

October 28 2021

Can the Beirut blast’s lead investigator, Judge Tarek Bitar, take on his negligent colleagues? Events so far suggest he won’t.Photo Credit: The Cradle

Lead investigative Judge Tarek Bitar refuses to prosecute his judiciary colleagues who signed to unload, store, then ignore the ammonium nitrates that devastated Beirut last August.

By Radwan Mortada

The Lebanese are split on the performance of Judge Tarek al-Bitar, the lead judicial investigator in the massive 4 August Port of Beirut explosion last year.

One side blindly trusts the man, believing Bitar will spearhead the fight against Lebanon’s existing corrupt political class and discover the identities of those responsible for the deadly port blast.

The other side views him as a foreign tool used to create sedition in Lebanon by targeting political figures critical of the US. The Lebanese resistance, Hezbollah, was the first to draw suspicion to Bitar’s performance, whose arbitrary and biased allegations seemed to target only one side of the political divide.

Hezbollah’s charges have gradually escalated over the months. When Bitar first took on the blast investigation – the second judge to do so – Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah urged him to publish the blast site’s technical report so it would quash unsubstantiated rumors about the group’s role in the explosion, or allegations that it stored ‘weapons’ at the Port of Beirut.

Bitar did not respond to Nasrallah’s request for transparency, however, and allowed political and media disinformation to go unchecked during a national crisis.

In one example of this, an alleged ‘witness’ named Imad Kashli appeared in a Lebanese media outlet claiming that he transported ammonium nitrate for Hezbollah from the Port of Beirut to a village in the south, in what was later discovered to be false testimony. Bitar failed to take any action against Kashli under the pretext that he was ‘sick,’ and media outlets never bothered to refute or retract the fabricated story.

Furthermore, Bitar’s political targets say the judge’s own allegations are not comprehensive, but deliberately selective. His interrogation roster focuses overwhelmingly on personalities belonging to one political affiliation, while unjustifiably excluding officials in the very same posts with opposite political views. Bitar has interrogated former Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) Commander Jean Kawahji, for instance, while skipping over current LAF Commander Joseph Aoun, a Washington-favored army man.

U.S. Ambassador Richard Meets Army Commander General Joseph Aoun - U.S.  Embassy in Lebanon

Aoun cannot be bypassed or absolved of responsibility. The explosion happened on his watch, during his tenure. Bitar’s detractors rightly point out that the ultimate responsibility for the Beirut blast must focus on the Lebanese judiciary and the military. The former signed the papers that allowed in and continued to store tons of illegally-stored ammonium nitrate in Beirut, and the latter has the final word on any explosives inside Lebanon’s legal boundaries.

The fact that Bitar has ruled out questioning the current army leadership, most of the judges, the Ministers of Justice and Defense, and the Justice Ministry’s cases commission from has raised eyebrows, obviously. Nasrallah did not mince his words when he stated, in a recent speech, that the greatest responsibility for the 2020 calamity rests with the judges who gave permission to unload vast amounts of ammonium nitrate explosives from a foreign ship seized by Lebanese authorities, and then gave permission to store these substances in dangerous conditions inside the Port of Beirut.

Bitar’s choices lead to armed confrontations

Leaked reports in the media and from within the corridors of Lebanon’s Judiciary, instead deflected blame onto cabinet ministers and members of parliament (MPs), revealing that they would be arrested even before Bitar issued the summons. Furthermore, he has been quoted as saying that he wanted to fight, not avenge, the political class, which he did not deny in a press interview – thus, confirming the words attributed to him.

His behavior and the investigation’s bias has only reinforced suspicions against Bitar, who was expected, at the very least, to handle these processes and suspects impartially, and to display good faith by muzzling rumors and disinformation.

The judge’s questionable performance finally prompted supporters of Hezbollah, Marada, the Amal Movement, and members of professional organizations (lawyers, etc) to hold a protest in front of the Beirut Palace of Justice.

On 14 October, a peaceful demonstration by these groups was ambushed in Beirut’s Tayouneh neighborhood by far-right Lebanese Forces (LF) party gunmen. Rooftop sniper fire quickly escalated into an armed clash that killed seven Hezbollah and Amal supporters and injured dozens of others.

The Black Record of Samir Geagea

The attack could have easily spiraled into a civil war had it not been for Nasrallah’s public calls for restraint, which gave space for an investigation by army intelligence, under the supervision of the judiciary, that this week summoned LF leader Samir Geagea for interrogation. That case continues.

Judiciary and military responsibility for the explosives

Why has Bitar overlooked the judicial and military responsibilities for the ammonium nitrates and its storage at the port for seven years? Why does he persist in focusing his investigation on cabinet ministers and parliamentarians mainly, despite the fact that the explosion was primarily a security and judicial failure?

If the army had carried out its function, entrusted exclusively to Lebanon’s military under the country’s Weapons and Ammunition Law, by supervising the nitrate storage, destruction, or re-export, the devastating explosion would have been averted.

Similarly, if judges had done their job, a legally binding – not a political one – decision would have ensured the destruction or immediate exportation of the explosive materials from Warehouse 12 in the Port of Beirut.

Despite the negligence of his judicial colleagues, Judge Bitar has been noticeably timid about addressing their liabilities in the lead-up to the explosion. The politicization of his investigation has all but buried the legal distribution of responsibility – the truth, so to speak – for the blast.

The judges who escaped Bitar’s ‘judgement’

Gassanoff on Twitter: "المجرم القاضي جاد المعلوف هو المسؤول عن انزال  النيترات لمصلحة من أمر بانزالها او بطلب من من؟ من هنا يبدأ التحقيق مع  المجرم جاد المعلوف .هذا هو الصندوق الاسود…
Judge Jad Maalouf

To this day, the ‘guardians of justice’ continue to remain unaccountable. But the names of seven judges and a state attorney suspected of negligence have been identified as those most liable for the judiciary’s failings: Judges Jad Maalouf and Carla Shawah from the Beirut Urgent Matters Court, Ministry of Justice Judges Marwan Karkabi and Helena Iskandar, head of the Beirut Executive Department Mirna Kallab, government commissioner at the Military Court Judge Peter Germanos, Appeals Court Attorney General Ghassan Khoury, and state attorney Omar Tarabah.

Lebanon’s Internal Security Forces (ISF) had identified these judges in a report presented to Judge Bitar at the start of his investigation.

The judiciary’s responsibility in the blast has also been lost amid blanket local media focus on Lebanon’s political class since 17 October 2019, when a street ‘revolution’ arose in response to the country’s economic collapse. The prevailing trend in the country has been to lay all blame on the politicians and bankers who let this happen.

So there would be little fallout for Bitar if he took the easy path, focused on the easy ‘villains,’ and didn’t rock the boat with his judicial colleagues or Lebanon’s ‘neutral’ military establishment.

Bitar checked some boxes, but basically played softball with the judiciary.  As an example, he formally requested that the Cassation Court’s public prosecutor separately verify the negligence of Beirut Judges Maalouf and Shawah in order to charge them with the crime of probable intent, like the rest of the defendants in the case.

Although more than a year has passed since the blast investigation began, any action against the judges, or even checking their files or hearing their statements, has been delayed for months, although the role of one of them – Jad Maalouf – is critical.

Maalouf signed off on the decision to unload the ship’s ammonium nitrate cargo and appoint a judicial guard as the head of the port, Mohammad al-Mawla. After Mawla claimed that he did not hold the keys to the warehouse, Maalouf was supposed to appoint another judicial guard and establish a time period for guard duty, which did not happen. Bitar listened to the statements of Maalouf and Shawah as witnesses only, unlike others who he intends to prosecute. Why?

The file of the ammonium nitrate shipment had swung back and forth for years between the General Customs Directorate and Beirut Urgent Matters Judge Maalouf. Several letters were sent to the Director General of Customs Badri Daher to re-export the goods, but Judge Maalouf kept writing down the request and sending it to the Justice Ministry’s cases commission, which responded only once by approving the re-export.

Maalouf was assigned to transfer the ownership of the goods within a week, even though Article 13 of the UN’s Hamburg Convention permits the destruction of goods – and if they are hazardous, without transferring their ownership – without paying compensation to the owner. The Hamburg Convention, signed in 1978 and enforced in November 1992, is the UN’s ‘Hamburg Rules’ on cargo sea shipments that unified a legal system regulating the rights and obligations of shippers, carriers, and consignees under the contract of transport of goods by sea.

According to legal experts, Judge Maalouf should have ruled to destroy these highly dangerous materials based on both Article 13 of the Hamburg Convention as well as the provisions of paragraph 2 of Article 579 of the Lebanese Code of Civil Procedure; that is, without a request from anyone and regardless of the rights of their owners, who are not entitled to compensation for the destruction of hazardous goods.

Instead, four years were spent on issuing notifications, or requesting discussions on jurisdiction and the legality of selling or destroying the goods. If Judge Maalouf had taken the decision to destroy the ammonium nitrates immediately, Lebanon would have certainly avoided its destructive consequence last August.

The same reasoning applies to suspected Judge Shawah, who was referred to the prosecution with Maalouf, but judicial sources tell The Cradle that she has not received any document or review from anyone since she took over the ammonium nitrates case from Maalouf.

Judge Bitar has also asked the Appeals Court public prosecutor to verify the suspected negligence of Public Prosecutor Judge Khoury for authorizing the closing of the nitrates file. But Bitar did not do that for months, and until the day before, he believed that the Court of Cassation might recuse him based on the lawsuits submitted by the defendants and ministers accusing him of bias.

It appears that Bitar initially suspected Khoury of involvement in criminal activities that contributed to the death and injury of people and causing damage to public property as a result of the judge’s decision to shelve the State Security’s investigation report. Then, inexplicably, Judge Imad Qabalan, the Court of Cassation’s public prosecutor, decided those suspicions were unjustified and threw out Bitar’s inquiries by saying he considered “the report of the judicial investigator [Bitar] dated 24 September 2021 to be empty of any suspicions and does not prove fault in the job duties of Judge Khoury.”

The fourth and fifth judges, Helena Iskandar and Marwan Karkabi, who headed the Justice Ministry’s cases commission, are suspected of years of procrastinating before responding to the correspondence of the Director General of Customs and the Urgent Matters Judge. Although they received several letters, they responded only once by proposing to re-export the nitrates without following up on the case, which is one reason the ammonium nitrates remained in the heart of Beirut.

The sixth judge, Peter Germanos, was contacted by State Security investigators – when he was the government representative at the military court regarding the ammonium nitrate stores – to notify him about the high risk of these materials. But Germanos told them this case was not in the jurisdiction of the military prosecution because the Urgent Matters Judge had ruled to remove that material from Warehouse 12.

Although the issue is related to the Lebanese state’s national security and clearly falls within the jurisdiction of the Army Intelligence, Germanos decided that it is not within the powers of the Military Public Prosecution. Why?

Judge Germanos has denied on Twitter that he received any reports or minutes on the ammonium nitrates from the State Security or any other agency. Here, Bitar’s investigation needs to discover which side is telling the truth, bearing in mind that most communications between the judicial police and public prosecutor were conducted orally, over the phone, until written investigation minutes are stamped and referred to the Public Prosecution.

The seventh judge – Mirna Kallab, head of the Executive Department in Beirut – following correspondence from the Justice Ministry’s cases commission on the sale of the nitrates, was tasked specifically with appointing an inspections expert. A dispute emerged from the start between the Ministry of Works and the cases commission over who should pay the expert’s fees, which did not exceed 700,000 (approximately $467) Lebanese pounds.

Here, state attorney Omar Tarabah’s name appears for procrastinating for more than a year over correspondence related to paying the expert’s fees to inspect the Rhusos, the ship which transported the ammonium nitrate to the Port of Beirut.

In a nutshell, it is believed that the reason for Bitar’s leniency in holding negligent judges accountable for the Beirut blast is due to the prevailing conviction among judges of the need to protect and provide their colleagues with immunity, lest they next become scapegoats for the political class who would also wish to protect their colleagues with immunity.

Bitar should have refused to cater to the judiciary and military establishments, and made a beeline for whomever he suspected of negligence, regardless of their affiliations. Having failed to do so, this investigation is now a bust. Unless Bitar changes course and takes on these two protected institutions, only scapegoats will be charged for Lebanon’s deadliest explosion in history.

Crimes without Punishment – Ever

November 25, 2021

A protest against US military aid to Israel. (Photo: File)
– Jeremy Salt taught at the University of Melbourne, at Bosporus University in Istanbul and Bilkent University in Ankara for many years, specializing in the modern history of the Middle East. Among his recent publications is his 2008 book, The Unmaking of the Middle East. A History of Western Disorder in Arab Lands (University of California Press). He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle. 

What a chamber of horrors the third millennium has been so far in the Middle East, without even a quarter of it having passed.  Iraq, Syria and Yemen on a scale unimaginable even at the high point of imperialism in the 19th century. An estimated 300 children under five dying every day in Yemen from malnutrition, Palestinians shot dead in their occupied country every day, Lebanon and Syria slowly strangled by US sanctions, Iran threatened with military destruction and the revelation of yet another massacre by the US, in Syria, where “about” 70 women and children were killed at Baghuz by bombs dropped one after the other to make sure that no-one escaped.

There is no suggestion that anyone should be punished for yet another ‘mistake.’  This is where thousands of years of drawing up covenants to make the world a safer place have ended up:  back where we started,  the law of the jungle.

This is what the guardians of ‘western civilization’ have given to the world just in the past three decades:

Two wars on Iraq, the ‘cradle of civilization’ shattered by the cradle of a violent hamburger junk culture, millions killed or displaced. Libya, the most developed country in Africa, pulled up by its roots, uncounted thousands killed, the leader of its 1969 revolution slaughtered as Hillary Clinton cackled with glee like one of the witches around the cauldron in  Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’. Syria torn to pieces, ancient cities and markets destroyed, and half a million killed. In Yemen, more than 230,000 dead, with 43 percent of prematurely born babies dying because of the lack of medical equipment and a genocidal famine – 75 percent of children are suffering from acute malnutrition –  continuing even as fresh supplies of weaponry are dropped off in the Saudi kingdom by the US and Britain. Iran,  Syria and Lebanon targeted with economic sanctions: in occupied Palestine, in Syria and in Iran the Zionist state continues its murderous march through history.

Not one of the global criminals responsible for these massive crimes against humanity has been punished.  They play golf or roam the world picking up millions for their speaking engagements and their ‘philanthropic’ foundations. Not one word of contrition or remorse has been spoken by any of them for the lives they have ended or ruined. Not even the death of children has forced admission of guilt out of them.  Others have been punished for lesser crimes but not this gang. They are completely remorseless.

Imagine the reaction if these crimes were committed in Europe and white people were being slaughtered or driven out of their homes, out of their countries and drowning in their thousands as they tried to escape across the seas.

Well, between 1939-45 it did happen and those responsible were hanged at Nuremberg. We have no Nuremberg now but we do have an International Criminal Court (ICC) which does punish the architects of war crimes and crimes against humanity – as long as their skin is the right color. With the exception of pale-skinned Balkan Serbs charged after the breakup of Yugoslavia, all those hauled before the ICC have been brown or black.

The tsunami of death and destruction which began rolling across the region when Napoleon landed in Egypt in 1798 shows no sign of receding.  Almost no country from the Atlantic coast of West Africa down to the Arab Gulf has avoided being swamped by it and many have been swamped several times.

The prime beneficiary of all of the above in the past century has been the settler state implanted in Palestine after 1918. Israel is the heart and soul of US foreign policy. Indeed, US foreign policy is no more than the Stars and Stripes draped over the interests of the Zionist state.

Take Iran as an example. After the death of Ayatullah Khumayni, Presidents Rafsanjani and Khatami sought to repair relations with the US. They offered investment concessions, diplomatic rapprochement and a political pathway into a region of critical interest, central Asia. Iranian society is conservative and God-fearing, rather like the US itself, but as long as Rafsanjani and Khatami refused to drop Iran’s righteous defense of the Palestinians, nothing else counted. Even in the ‘moderate’ Khatami’s time, economic sanctions were tightened, paving the way for the election of the ‘hardliner,’ Mahmud Ahmedinejad.

The attempted strangulation of Iran and Syria through war, assassination and sanctions necessarily involves Lebanon, Hezbollah’s home base.  Since the 1980s Hezbollah has successfully fought off all attempts by Israel – backed to the hilt by the US of course –  to destroy it.  Far from being weakened, Hezbollah has gone from strength to strength, militarily and as a Lebanese political party. The lesson learned by the US and Israel is just that they have to try harder,  to tear Lebanon apart if that is what it takes to destroy Hezbollah.

The latest provocation through Israel’s agents took place in Beirut on October 14, in the predominantly Shia neighborhood of Chiyah, bordering predominantly Maronite Christian Ain Rummaneh, where the ‘bus massacre’ of 27 Palestinians on April 13, 1975, was the trigger pulled to start the civil war.

This time snipers positioned on rooftops shot at Amal and Hezbollah supporters as they moved towards the Palace of Justice in Al Tayouneh to hold a vigil calling for the removal of Tariq al Bitar as the judge appointed to investigate the Beirut port explosion on August 5, 2020, on the grounds that he is running a heavily politicized inquiry heading towards a preordained conclusion, that this was a crime committed by Hezbollah.

Holding Hezbollah or Syria responsible for the crimes they have not committed was first tried after the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri in 2005. Initially, four ‘pro-Syrian’ generals were imprisoned for four years before an international tribunal took over the prosecution and released them for lack of evidence. It immediately pointed the finger at Hezbollah, eventually finding one person, Salim Ayyash, guilty of “involvement” on the sole basis of tapped phone calls made through communications networks known to have been completely penetrated and manipulated by the Zionist state.

The tribunal cleared Hezbollah’s leadership. What this actually means is that if the leadership did not order the assassination, no senior figure in the movement would have carried it out.   Nasrallah and Hariri had differences but a good working relationship and it is virtually unthinkable that Nasrallah would ever have sanctioned such a heinous act.

The only beneficiaries of this monstrous act were the US, Israel and their agents in Lebanon.  Syria was embarrassed internationally and had to withdraw its remaining forces from the Bika’a valley. Lebanon was thrown into the chaos that gave birth to the rise of the anti-Syrian/pro-Saudi, US and Israel March 14 alliance.

Hezbollah produced intercepted reconnaissance footage showing that Israel had been tracking Hariri with drones wherever he went for years and was flying an AWACS plane and another reconnaissance aircraft over Beirut at the precise time of the assassination.  One of its agents had been located at the scene of the killing only the day before.   None of this circumstantial evidence was ever followed up by the tribunal.    Israel and the US have shed buckets of blood in Lebanon over many decades, have between them committed the most atrocious crimes, but the tribunal never even considered them as suspects.

The snipers waiting on the top of apartment buildings in Tayouneh on October 14 killed seven people, one a woman shot dead in her own home. Not just on rooftops, however, but on the ground, the demonstrators were surrounded by militiamen waiting to ambush them with guns, knives and even rocks.   Despite denials by Samir Geagea (Ja’ja), the head of the fascist/sectarian Maronite Christian Lebanese Forces (LF), the armed men were clearly LF and acting on his orders.   Of the 19 arrested, several quickly implicated him.

Geagea is one of the most murderous individuals in Lebanese history, which says a lot given the bloody track record of many others. During the civil war (1976-1989) he killed rivals within his own Maronite Christian ranks as well as Palestinians and other enemies outside them.  In 1994 he was sentenced to four life sentences for the assassinations of former Prime Minister Rashid Karameh (1987), National Liberal Party leader Dany Chamoun (1990), Falangist (Kata’ib) head Elias al Zayek (1990) and the attempted assassination of Defence Minister Michel Murr (1991).  In 1978 he and Elie Hobeika, at the behest of Bashir Gemayel, then head of the Falangists, led 1200 men in an attack on the north Lebanon family home of Tony Frangieh, leader of the Maronite Marada (Giants) faction.  Geagea was wounded and had to be taken away before Frangieh, his wife and three-year-old daughter were killed.

In the 1990 attack, Dany Chamoun’s wife and two of his sons were also killed.   If there is any poetic justice in any of this shedding of blood – including entirely innocent blood – it lies in the 1982 assassination of Bashir Gemayel and the car bombing murder in 2002 of Elie Hobeika, Israel’s leading henchman in the Sabra and Shatila massacres of 1982.

Geagea himself served eleven years of four life sentences before being released under amnesty after the assassination of Hariri and allowed to take up the leadership of the LF. His brutality is a powerful weapon in the hands of Israel and the US, whose ambassador, Dorothy Shea, has been open in her interference in Lebanese politics.

US economic sanctions against Lebanon have one primary target, Hezbollah; one secondary target, Syria; and one-third target, Iran. How many Christians die defending ‘Christian Lebanon’ is not an issue for the US and Israel any more than the number of Muslims who die fighting them.  All they want is the chaos that will further their ambitions.  They tore Lebanon apart before and they will do it again, mercilessly, ruthlessly, callously, without a care for the innocent blood of thousands that will be shed.

Whatever cause Samir Geagea thinks he is serving, the piecemeal destruction of Lebanon, indeed of the entire Middle East, is primarily about the protection of Israel.  However, Israel is not as safe as it used to be or it might think it still is. It is confronted by enemies who have not backed off one meter from the struggle to liberate Palestine.  Israel has tried hard to destroy them. Up to now, it has failed, so it is getting ready to try again. While planning/contingency planning is a constant, Israel now appears to be actively preparing for a massive military strike that would target  Iran’s nuclear plants and missile capacity.

In September the Zionist chief of staff, Avi Kohavi, said plans for such a strike had been “greatly accelerated.” The military has been given an additional $1.5 billion to buy aircraft, drones and ‘bunker buster’ bombs that would probably include the USAF’s new 5000 lb. (2,267 kg.) GRU-72 Advanced 5k Penetrator, which would be aimed at Iran’s underground nuclear installations. Anticipating a simultaneous war with Hezbollah, Israel has also been carrying out extensive military exercises in northern occupied Palestine, coordinated with all emergency civil services to deal with an expected crisis on the domestic front once the missiles start falling. Israel is clearly planning for a big war, and can be expected to throw everything into this attempt to crush its principal enemies once and for all.

Unlike the white settlers in South Africa, the Zionist leadership sees no writing on the wall, no indications that history is not on their side even as it builds up against them.  No more than Netanyahu does Naftali Bennett have any intention of giving anything back to the Palestinians except the smallest fragments of municipal responsibility. Like Netanyahu, he sees no need to negotiate, no need to give anything away.  Why would he, when in the last resort Israel even has nuclear weapons to destroy its enemies? This is the question to which there can be no answer until the day comes when Israel faces the reality that even its conventional weapons are not sufficient to destroy its enemies.

All appearances to the contrary, unlimited US economic and military support has been a curse for Israel. It has created the illusion of power. Israel is like a plant with shallow roots. Only as long as the US keeps watering it, can the plant thrive. There is no permanent, unbreakable bond between states and all appearances to the contrary, there never will be between Israel and the US. Slowly, Americans are waking up and Israel’s incessant pleading is already beginning to fall on deaf ears, as the public becomes more aware of Israel’s criminality and as congressmen and women (mainly women) are emboldened to speak out. The time may come when the US can no longer afford Israel. The time may come when public opinion has changed to allow a US government to treat Israel as it treats other states.

US economic and military aid has had the same effect on Israel as steroids have on a bodybuilder. The 97-lb weakling is now the neighborhood bully swaggering down the street with pumped-up muscles. He smacks people around or they run in fright but Hezbollah and Iran are not running. They are standing firm and preparing to defend themselves. In any case, in the next war, Israel will take damage it has never experienced before, to the point where so many Jewish Israelis will just want to get out that Israel as a Zionist state is likely to crumble from within and die of its own contradictions.  Is this what it is going to take for peace to become possible?

Hezbollah Deputy SG Urges Saudi Arabia to Stop Interfering in Lebanon’s Internal Affairs

Nov 11, 2021

Hezbollah Deputy SG Urges Saudi Arabia to Stop Interfering in Lebanon’s Internal Affairs

By Staff, Agencies

A top official of the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah calls on Riyadh to stop meddling in the country’s internal affairs amid a Lebanon-Saudi rift over comments on the Yemen war.

“Lebanon is an independent country that does not accept subordination to anyone,” al-Manar television network cited Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem as saying at a graduation ceremony on Wednesday.

Referring to the current dispute with Saudi Arabia, the senior Hezbollah official stressed that it was Riyadh that started the problem with Beirut.

 “We don’t have any demand from it [Saudi Arabia] but to stop interfering in our [Lebanon’s] internal affairs,” he stressed.

Sheikh Qassem on Sunday had said the real target of the Saudi diplomatic aggression on Lebanon “has been always Hezbollah as well as its military power.”

Tensions rose between Riyadh and Beirut following critical comments made by Lebanese Information Minister George Kordahi regarding the Saudi-led war against Yemen.

On October 29, Saudi Arabia gave the Lebanese ambassador 48 hours to leave the country over Kordahi’s remarks. The kingdom also imposed a ban on all imports from Lebanon.

The measures were taken days after an interview with Kordahi was aired by an online show affiliated with Qatar’s al-Jazeera television network.

During the interview, Kordahi called the Saudi-led Yemen war futile, and said that Yemeni army forces and their allied fighters from Popular Committees are defending themselves.

The interview was recorded before Kordahi was appointed as minister, but it aired on October 25.

Saudi Arabia and some of its regional allies, backed by the US and other Western powers, have been waging a devastating war on Yemen since March 2015 to reinstall Yemen’s former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh.

The Saudi war, which Riyadh had claimed would last only a few weeks, but is still ongoing, has failed to achieve its goals. It has pushed Yemen to the brink of famine, killed tens of thousands of innocent people, and destroyed the impoverished state’s infrastructure.

Elsewhere in his Wednesday remarks, Sheikh Qassem pointed to a last month’s deadly shootout in Beirut and noted that the resistance movement dealt wisely with the massacre which was committed by the Lebanese Forces [LF] political party in Beirut in mid-October.

At least seven people were martyred and 60 others injured in the attack on October 14, during which Hezbollah supporters were shot from rooftops while they were gathering to peacefully protest against a judge investigating last year’s Beirut Port explosion as they accused him of bias.

In a statement, Hezbollah and its ally Amal Movement said armed groups affiliated with the LF party, a former militia group during the 1975-1990 civil war, fired at the protesters from rooftops, aiming at their heads, in an attempt to drag Lebanon into new sectarian strife.

“Hezbollah and Amal movement spared the country from going into the unknown,” Sheikh Qassem stressed, calling for a “fair, impartial and transparent judiciary.”

Saudi Arabia Started Its Aggression against Lebanon; Twisting Hezbollah’s Arm is Impossible – Deputy SG

Nov 4, 2021

Saudi Arabia Started Its Aggression against Lebanon; Twisting Hezbollah’s Arm is Impossible - Deputy SG

By Staff

Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General His Eminence Sheikh Naim Qassem asserted that Saudi Arabia is disturbed because it couldn’t dominate the political decision in Lebanon despite the cash it had spent on its allies in Lebanon, pointing out that Saudi Arabia couldn’t put up with its casualties in the region, so its aggression on Lebanon was just a reaction, and that is one of the reasons behind the current crisis in Lebanon.

Sheikh Qassem asserted that the timing of the Saudi aggression on Lebanon is linked to Marib and Riyadh’s terrible loss in Yemen, so that it’s trying to divert attention from the battles there by exercising pressure on Lebanon.

The Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General said that Riyadh should apologize for its unjustified aggression on Lebanon, noting that the kingdom is not doing the right thing because nobody can twist the arm of Hezbollah and the Lebanese people.

“Lebanon is not a scapegoat and it’s challenging Saudi Arabia as an independent country. We won’t accept Saudi Arabia’s interference in the government after all the achievements it has accomplished,” Sheikh Qassem added.

His Eminence also said, “We will not surrender or give up on our dignity to please Saudi Arabia, even if it had practiced aggression on us, and we don’t hold responsibility for anything that happened”, pointing out that “Saudi Arabia might continue its aggression against Lebanon, as it doesn’t have any disciplines. It wants to take revenge, and it has to apologize. If it wants to continue its aggression, it will have more casualties.”

Regarding the Tayouneh Massacre, Sheikh Qassem said that “the US couldn’t achieve its goals in Lebanon despite all its attempts, and it had tried with all the possible means to turn the Lebanese public on Hezbollah but it couldn’t make it.”

He asserted that the discord that was sought in Tayyouneh massacre is an American-Saudi act executed by the Lebanese Forces party, but Hezbollah and Amal Movement have aborted it for the sake of Lebanon, pointing out that the Lebanese Forces is the sole party that receives allocations from Saudi Arabia, and the Americans have tried to integrate the Lebanese Forces members into the “NGO” groups to enhance their image.

Sheikh Qassem also talked about the maritime borders, saying that the Lebanese government is the one who says where our borders are, and Hezbollah doesn’t interfere in that, adding that “we are waiting for the government to finish the demarcation process and the disputed areas.”

He also stressed that “If the government says that the “Israeli” enemy is assaulting a disputed area, we, as a resistance, will do our duty.”

Regarding the relationship with Syria, Sheikh Qassem noted that the relationship between Hezbollah and Syria is very good, especially with Bashar al-Assad as a president, and the relations with the Syrian Arab Army is very good as well, adding that such relations are unshakable, and that there is a high level of coordination on the mutual ties.

He said that the Hezbollah-Syrian relationship is one that became deep by blood, resistance, and liberation, and that such relationship was never this good in any past period.

His Eminence also said that “many of our Resistance fighters have come back to Lebanon, and the number of fighters that stayed there is related to the situation on the ground”, asserting that “we are ready for any larger or lower presence there depending on the developments.”

هل دفع الذعر من المتغيرات القادمة جعجع للخطأ القاتل؟

26.10.2021

ناصر قنديل

– لا نعلم بعد مضمون الاعترافات التي أدلى بها الموقوفون الذين تسببت إفاداتهم بتسطير مذكرة الاستماع لرئيس حزب القوات اللبنانية سمير جعجع، ليقين بأن هذا الاستدعاء لم يكن متوقعاً صدوره بالسرعة والتشدد اللذين شهدناهما، بصورة معاكسة لتدخلات مرجعيات لها تاثيرها  على القضاء وقيادة الجيش، وإحراجها لهما، كحال بكركي والمداخلات الأميركية، وما كان هذا الاستدعاء ليحدث ويتم الإصرار عليه لولا وجود وقائع لا يمكن تجاهلها بالنسبة للجهتين المعنيتين، وهما القضاء بشخص مفوض الحكومة لدى المحكمة العسكرية، الذي لم يكن يوماً مفوضاً لحزب الله كما قال جعجع، وتاريخ النزاعات حول الملفات بين حزب الله مليء بالوقائع، ولا يمكن لأحد التشكيك بأن قيادة الجيش ومديرية المخابرات قد يمثلان مجرد صدى لطلبات حركة أمل وحزب الله، وفي الحادثة نفسها كان واضحاً من توضيح قيادة الجيش لتفاوت مضمون بياناتها في اليوم الأول، أنها تسير بموقفها تبعاً لما تتوصل إليه من وقائع، ولا تزال قضايا الخلاف في مقاربة أمل وحزب الله لملفات كملف العميل عامر الفاخوري في الذاكرة القريبة، وقيادة الجيش كما المحكمة العسكرية فعلتا ما تعتقدانه تعبيراً عن مسؤولياتهما بمعزل عن كيف سيقيم أداءهما كل من حزب الله وحركة أمل، وغداً قد تزداد الضغوط الداخلية والخارجية عليهما، ويحدث ما يفتح الباب لخلاف جديد بينهما وبين حزب الله وأمل.

– واقعياً نحن أمام معادلة تقول إن الاستدعاء مبني على شكوك جدية بدور لعبه جعجع في ترتيب مسرح مجزرة الطيونة، عبر معاونين مقربين منه، يملك التحقيق تفاصيل كافية لسؤال جعجع عنها، ومواجهته بها عندما يمثل للاستماع إليه، ولن يكون مفيداً لجعجع الإنكار لأنه سيضيق عليه دائرة الضغط ويزيدها إحكاماً، بقوة تدفق المعلومات التي ستوضع في مواجهته، وقد وفرتها فيديوهات وإفادات واعترافات وداتا اتصالات، ولن يفيد التهرب من المثول لأنه سيخلق ضغوطاً عامة في البلد لفرض المثول عليه، وسيفرض ضغوطاً وإحراجات قانونية له وعليه وعلى الجهات المعنية بمواصلة التحقيق، والأمر مختلف جذرياً عن قضية ملاحقين من قبل المحقق العدلي يطالبون وفقاً لنص دستوري بنقل ملفهم أمام جهة قضائية أخرى نص عليها الدستور، بعدما مثلوا وأدلوا بإفاداتهم أمام المحقق العدلي الأول عندما طلب الاستماع إليهم من دون إطلاق الملاحقة القضائية الاتهامية بحقهم، وصفات هؤلاء مذكورة في نص الدستور كرؤساء ووزراء، ولو كانت هناك محكمة أخرى ذات صلاحية لملاحقة رؤساء الأحزاب سيكون على جعجع المثول أولاً للإدلاء بإفادته الأربعاء، ثم في حال إطلاق ملاحقة اتهامية بحقه أن يطلب نقل ملفه إلى محكمة لرؤساء الأحزاب ليست موجودة.

– إذا صحت الفرضيات بأن جعجع دبر ورتب مجزرة الطيونة، عبر زرع مجموعات استفزاز للمتظاهرين لاستدراجهم بحال فوران إلى الشارع الفرعي وهم يقومون بالتكسير والهتاف، ما يمنح الذريعة لتدخل سلاح جعجع المنظم لفتح النار بداعي حماية الأهالي، أملاً بإطلاق تفجير يستدرج بالدم تورطاً مقابلاً، تضيع فيه نقطة البداية، عندما تغرق المنطقتان المتقابلتان بدماء أبنائهما وبناتهما، وهنا سيكون جعجع قد ارتكب الخطأ القاتل، لأنه على الرغم من النجاح النسبي، سواء باستدراج جزء من التظاهرة عبر الاستفزاز للخروج عن السياق المرسوم لها، سواء في مسارها أو في سلوكها، أو في استدراج إطلاق النار بعد سقوط أول دفعة من الشهداء والجرحى، إلا أن لا هذه ولا تلك شكلتا النجاح الذي يحجب حقيقة المجزرة، لأن الحكمة التي رافقت إدارة ما بعد المجزرة نجحت نجاحاً كلياً في إبقاء الأمور تحت السيطرة، فمنعت توازن الدماء الذي يخفي المجزرة، ومنعت التشكيك بالقضاء ومنحته كل الثقة حتى باعتقالات طالبت بعضاً من مناصريها، ومنعت الطعن بصدقية الجيش التي جرت محاولات لتفخيخها بنشر فيديوهات تظهره مصدراً لإطلاق النار يجب أن نعرف من كان وراء نشرها الآن.

– فشل جعجع سيكون هو السبب في تحول فعلته إلى الخطأ القاتل، وهذا الفشل لم يحدث صدفة، بل لأن التفوق الأخلاقي والوطني الذي جوبهت به المجزرة هو الذي أجهض التتمة المطلوبة لتتحق الأهداف المرجوة منها، لكن يبقى السؤال، لماذا يقدم جعجع على هذه المغامرة التي قد يكون بدأ يلمس أنه سيواجه نتائجها وحيداً، هل أن التعطش للمال أعمى بصيرته في ظل توهم حجم العائد المترتب على الظهور كقوة مستعدة للعبة الدم مع حزب الله، أم أن ثمة من نصحه بتصعيد المناخ الطائفي إلى اقصى الدرجات لتحسين نتائج استطلاعات الرأي الانتخابية حتى لو أدى ذلك لسقوط الدماء، أم لأن ما لدى جعجع من معطيات، أسوة بما لدى كل الذين وضعوا بيضهم في السلة الأميركية، أثار ذعره من الآتي، بعدما رأى مشهد أفغانستان، ووصلته المعلومات عن الانسحاب المقبل من العراق وسورية والعودة للتفاهم النووي مع إيران، وحجم الموقع المتنامي لحزب الله في المعادلة الإقليمية وصولاً لتكريسه شريكاً بنصف القرار الذي يصنع الاستحقاق الرئاسي المقبل، ليتقاسم الآخرون النصف الثاني بقيادة واشنطن، فراهن على إنتاج معادلة تتيح له التحول إلى الرقم الصعب الموازي؟

– هل يجوز القول للمرة الثانية غلطة الشاطر بألف، أم أنه لا يكون شاطراً؟

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What Is Really Happening In Lebanon?

23 OCTOBER 2021

By Sonja van den Ende

Source

What Is Really Happening In Lebanon?

Lebanese forces on the streets in Beirut, to control mainly the poor and Shia neighborhoods, many of these neighborhoods are suffering, they are the ones who don’t have electricity and lack food.

Lebanon is in a bad state for a long time already, the country is ripped apart through corruption, by mainly Western backed politicians, the influx from two million Syrian refugees, who are the poorest from poor and live in slums or ghettos, as I saw two years ago destroyed the country and already bad economy. It’s ripped apart by the US and Saudi influence who try to stir up the Lebanese and tell them the resistance group Hezbollah is very bad and also consider the Shia political AMAL movement bad because of their ideology. Well it depends how you see it, the Lebanese government has failed its own citizens since the end of the civil war in 1990, the West divided their politicial system and until today there is unrealistic segregation so finally the country totally collapsed when the Beirut explosion occurred. Hezbollah and the Amal were the only stronghold for the people, giving them free education and economic help, also the Christians speak well of them, they know that the Hezbollah and Amal parties are the ones who will help the needy and poor.

On 4 August 2020, a large amount of ammonium nitrate stored at the Port of Beiru tin the capital city of Lebanon exploded, causing at least 218 deaths, 7,000 injuries, and US$15 billion in property damage, and leaving an estimated 300,000 people homeless. A cargo of 2,750 tonnes of the substance (equivalent to around 1.1 kilotons of TNT) had been stored in a warehouse without proper safety”.

The question now is who was responsible for storing such a large amount in a densely populated area? Of course people blame the ones responsible of managing the port, but in the end the government of Lebanon is responsible and what was the involvement of the US and its Western allies? The current judge on the case and several Lebanese MP’s want to blame the last sitting prime-minister Hassan Diab, who was only in office since 2020 and was informed only four days before the accident by the port authorities, but governments before him, like premier Saad Hariri (son of the murdered Rafic Harriri) was in office for thirteen years and knew all too well about the deadly cargo in the port of Beirut. Actually many of the prime-ministers of Lebanon of the last 15 years knew through several warnings from the port authorities about the deadly cargo, they were warned by them, received complaints and letters, but never did anything to get rid of the dangerous cargo or attempted to do so.

According to the leaders of Hezbollah and the Amal Movement, but also the opinion of many Lebanese in the streets, according to my sources, the last incident and the murder of at least six people was an effort of destabilising Lebanon again, some elements like Samir Geagea, who served a long prison senctence and is now trying in cooperation with Western backed politicial parties and the deep-state a coup. Samir Gaegea, a Christian Maronite, is a notorious war criminal, responsible for the death of thousands of Palestinians and Lebanese during the civil war has re-emerged into the Lebanese spotlight, ready to kick off another civil war in his bid for power. We know all too well the West and the US are the masters of color-revolutions around the world, which usually ends up in war, upheaval and the the murder of millions of people, so this war criminal Samir Geagea tried another coup, after getting the back-up and support of the US, hardliner and warcriminal Victoria Nuland, who happened to visit Lebanon a few days before the attempted coup and spoke with members of the ultra-right-wing political party called the Lebanese Forces(LF) of which Samir Geagea is the leader.

This is what we have seen the last thrity years or maybe longer in in many countries around the world, the last attemted coup and which succeeded was in Ukraine, were Victoria Nuland tolled in a taped telephone call F***k the EU. The Lebanese experienced hardship since many years and certainly don’t want to experience a civil war anymore, they want prosperity and to overcome their religious differences, which never existed (like in Syria) before the West destroyed their societies and spreaded the poison of war and destruction, through their biggest asset, the Zionist state of Israel, not the Jewish people, but their government , military and deep-state, like in many Western countries, are the biggest repressor of the region, even surpressing its own people with a strict politized covid-regime. Before visiting Lebanon, Victoria Nuland visited Russia, most likely to speak with the so-called opposition around Navalny, always when Victoria is visiting, trouble will come. She is part of the illegal Biden government and serves as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, the fourth-ranking position in the US government.

Samir Geagea is a Zionist asset and also paid the Israelian notorious Secret Service Mossad and he and the Mossad were trying everything in their power to blame Hezbollah, as part of the until now, hybrid war, between Israel and Iran, according to Benyamin Nethanyahu, the last prime-minister of Israel, charged with corruption. Late in September 2020, all attention in Lebanon suddenly shifted to the warehouse, the one which exploded in Beirut, in the port in Jnah, where Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu alleged that Hezbollah was running a missile factory. In response, Secretary-General of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah invited reporters to tour the warehouse in Jnah and reporters were able to enter and had a tour. There was no no missile factory but in November 2020, various Lebanese news sites reported images and videos taken from that particular warehouse showing there was ammonium nitrate stored. Which was publicly known and of course the lebanese government was responsible for the storage of the highly dangerous ammonium nitrate which saw explosions which had similarities with a small atomic bomb.

The Lebanese people live in terrible conditions right now, similarities can be seen with the Syrian people, but even Syria supplied them with electricity, so bad is the situation. Recently petrol and gasoline has reached the port of Baniyas in Syria, from sanction stricken Iran to Lebanon. The West is still imposing sanctions on many countries in the Middle-East, another form of warfare.

Hezbollah Cementing Lebanon’s Deterrence against Enemies: 100k Fighters Announcement Based on Solid Facts

23.10.2021

Hezbollah Cementing Lebanon’s Deterrence against Enemies: 100k Fighters Announcement Based on Solid Facts

By Mohammad Youssef

Hezbollah Secretary General last speech about Tayyouneh bloody ambush by Samir Geagea’s criminal militia has continued to send resounding messages in Lebanon and all over the region, and especially within the ranks of the ‘Israeli’ enemy in occupied Palestine.

The content of the speech was very direct in accusing Geagea militia, which is formally called the ‘Lebanese Forces’ party, of being responsible for the bloody massacre they perpetrated against the civilian protesters passing through the area.

The speech has equally exposed the head of this criminal militia Samir Geagea and his long history of war crimes, assassinations, massacres, and aggression against the Lebanese people.

It also exposed his mindset and sick mentality which is always preoccupied and obsessed with violence, power thirst and bloodshed.

The speech exposed the history of this militia and its real agenda of partitioning the country and turning it into closed antagonistic cantons fighting against each other throughout a civil war.

Sayyed Nasrallah made it very clear that the Resistance will never be dragged into this war, and announced for the first time that this Resistance has 100000 fighters who are ready to defend Lebanon and the Lebanese people.

This announcement was the center of interest and deeply examined by many parties inside and outside Lebanon.

Although Sayyed Nasrallah was very clear in explaining that the fighters are to secure a guarantee of protection and safety for Lebanon and the Lebanese, against any inside or outside threat, some of the ill-intentioned tried to use his announcement as an example about Hezbollah threat to the Lebanese.

But aside from the internal Lebanese affairs, the message was read carefully in the circles of the ‘Israeli’ enemy; the ‘Israeli’ media outlets and military research centers had intensive focus on this announcement.

The enemy knows for a fact that Sayyed Nasrallah’s announcement about the resistance’s 100,000 trained and fully-equipped fighters is neither a media joke nor a propaganda. And even if it is part of a psychological war against the enemy, it is built on solid facts.

Thus, it will definitely act as a further deterrence against any ‘Israeli’ aggression and will solidify the Lebanese equation of protection and safety, furthermore, it will send a strong Lebanese message to the ‘Israelis’ that they cannot dig and extract gas and oil from the Lebanese territories and properties in land and sea without taking into account that Lebanon is capable of defending its resources.

This is a very important message at this time as the negotiations over the issue are taking place.

By doing this, Hezbollah is cementing the Lebanese points of strength and showing friends and enemies that Lebanon is not weak or pressured to accept any dictation from outside countries especially the US.

Additionally, this message would definitely help insure the security and protection of the strategic Lebanese natural resources not only for now but also for the coming generations.

In all, the speech has been successfully able to bring more immune stability into the Lebanese fragile political and economic system at a time when it needed it the most! This opens a window of hope and optimism amid all the catastrophic factors surrounding the country and its people from all sides and on all levels!

Geagea Summoned by Military Court over Tayouneh Ambush, Refuses to Testify

October 22, 2021

Samir Geagea

Head of Lebanese Forces militia Samir Geagea was summoned by Lebanon’s military court for questioning over the deadly ambush which killed seven civilians earlier last week in Tayouneh.

Both Reuters news agency and local media reported the move late Thursday, noting that it was based on confessions made by militants who were arrested on the day of the deadly shooting.

“The government commissioner to the military court Judge Fadi Akiki gave a signal to listen to the testimony of the head of the Lebanese Forces Party, Samir Geagea, in the Tayouneh file,” Reuters news agency quoted informed sources as saying.

“Confessions made by the detainees in this file… Judge Akiki’s reference requires that Geagea be heard before him in the military court,” the sources added.

Commenting on the summoning, Geagea said he has not yet received a request to listen to his statement, but noted that if this happens he will not appear before the Military Court if Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah is not also summoned.

“The commissioner should listen first to Sayyed Nasrallah,” he said in an interview with MTV local channel.

The head of the notorious militia who committed massacres during the 15-year civil war claimed that his party “has a license,” while Hezbollah has not, without referring to the deadly shooting in this regard.

On October 14, seven Lebanese civilians were martyred as Lebanese Forces (LF) militants and snipers opened fire at peaceful demonstrators protesting against politicization of investigation into last year’s powerful Beirut Port blast.

Among the victims were a passerby and a woman who were shot in their heads by (LF) snipers.

Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah lashed out at the LF, saying that its project is to ignite a civil war in the country. In a speech on Monday (October 18), Sayyed Nasrallah hit back at Geagea threat that the LF has 15,000 militants, warning him against miscalculation with the powerful Lebanese Resistance movement.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

Beirut Shootings: How Western Media Manipulation Hides the Murky Hand of US Imperialism

See the source image

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° on 

Steve Sweeney

The attack bore all the hallmarks of a US-backed intervention, and it doesn’t take much digging to find the links between the murky hand of Washington and the dark forces behind the bloodshed on the streets and a cover-up by a compliant western media.

Last week’s killing of seven people in the Lebanese capital Beirut, widely believed to be carried out by a far-right Christian fascist militia, is a worrying sign that the US wants to provoke a new civil war to destabilize the country in a change in its Middle East strategy.

The attack bore all the hallmarks of a US-backed intervention, and it doesn’t take much digging to find the links between the murky hand of Washington and the dark forces behind the bloodshed on the streets and a cover-up by a compliant western media.

Supporters of the Shi’ite Amal and Hezbollah movements were fired upon as they made their way to the Palace of Justice for a peaceful demonstration against what they perceive as the politicization of a probe into last year’s devastating port explosion.

The judge heading up the investigations, Tarek Bitar, is being directed by the US Embassy they claim, accusing him of unfairly and disproportionately targeting their allies while ignoring those close to Washington.

They may have a point. But the debate over the fairness and transparency of the judicial report is a side issue to the events that took place in the Tayouneh district of Beirut last week.

A peaceful march that had been approved by the authorities was fired upon by snipers placed on buildings along its route. It was an ambush by US-backed fascists who are hell-bent on plunging Lebanon into chaos.

None of the seven people killed in the protest were armed. Among the dead was Meryem Farhat, a mother shot through the head as she was getting ready to collect her child from kindergarten. Delivery driver Ali Ibrahim was also killed by sniper fire.

Not that you would know any of this judging by how the incident was reported by the western press. Readers would be forgiven for thinking that it was a Hezbollah march that turned violent, with the movement seemingly responsible for the deaths of its own supporters.

Liberal British mouthpiece The Guardian explained to its readers: “The trigger for the clashes in neighborhoods near the justice courts, which left dozens more injured, was a protest by members of Amal and Hezbollah, two predominantly Shia political parties, against a judicial probe into the massive blast in the port last year.”

“…eyewitnesses said they heard at least two explosions near the site where a protest was supposed to be held by Iran-backed Shia militia Hezbollah against a judge who is investigating last year’s devastating blast at Beirut’s port. Thursday’s shootings mark the deadliest civil violence in Beirut since 2008,” reported the part Saudi-owned Independent.

It concluded in carefully chosen language: “The heavily armed Hezbollah has accused Mr. Bitar of conducting a politicized probe.”

The Independent failed to mention the Lebanese Forces at all. Instead, it opted to make vague references to ‘unidentified gunmen.’ The Guardian mentioned their name once, but only to say that Hezbollah ‘claimed’ to have been shot at by the Christian militia.

The rest of the article followed a similar pattern to that of The Independent, containing snippets such as ‘chants of “Shia, Shia, Shia’ were heard on the streets.

“Large numbers of men brandishing weapons took to the streets throughout the day, and gun trucks flying Hezbollah and Amal flags paraded through the Bekaa Valley in a show of strength not seen since Hezbollah overran west Beirut in May 2008…” it added, failing to mention that Bekaa is nowhere near the Lebanese capital. This was the crowning glory of The Guardian hatchet job, evoking images of violent Muslims seeking to overthrow Lebanon, no doubt to impose an Islamist caliphate.

France 24 went with: “Last week, Hezbollah led a protest to demand his dismissal. It sparked a gun battle in the heart of Beirut that left seven people dead and reignited fears of new sectarian violence.”

It continued with a paragraph about “hostage diplomacy and what it means for those imprisoned by Tehran” in an exceptionally tenuous attempt to link the shootings to Iran.

That they let the Lebanese Forces, a US-backed right-wing militia led by a war criminal, off the hook is no mere accident.

Nor is the reporting down to lazy journalism. This would be to deny the role of the media as a propaganda tool used and manipulated by western imperialism to manufacture a consensus among the public.

That is that Hezbollah and Amal are the bad guys and it is up to the west, always the good guys in any situation, to step in and save the people of Lebanon from their evil clutches.

The use of descriptions such as ‘Iran-backed Shia militia Hezbollah’ is a not particularly subtle, but deliberate attempt to paint the movement – which is a legitimate political force with representatives in the Lebanese parliament – as a foreign-controlled entity.

The irony of this is, that it is, in fact, the very group responsible for the attack that is in hock to external forces, namely the US, “Israel” and Saudi Arabia who see the Lebanese Forces as its proxy inside the country.

It is perhaps best known in the west for its role in the brutal massacre of thousands of Palestinian men, women, and children on behalf of “Israel” at the Sabra and Chatila camps during the Lebanese civil war.

I visited the camps and met survivors of the three-day pogrom in Beirut earlier this year and they described how the Christian militia raped and executed more than three thousand defenseless people, as the camps were surrounded by Israeli soldiers.

The leader of the Lebanese Forces, Samir Geagea, has been convicted of war crimes, sentenced to life in prison for ordering four political assassinations, including that of former prime minister Rashid Karami in 1988.

For many, he will always be associated with the massacre of scores of people, including the bombing of Sayidat al-Najat church in Jounieh killing 10 people and wounding 54, with Christians also targeted by the bloodthirsty Geagea.

But he was released under an amnesty in 2005 following Lebanon’s so-called Cedar Revolution which took place after the assassination of prime minister Rafik Hariri, the perpetrators of which have never been brought to justice.

Geagea’s propulsion into the limelight once more comes with the US suffering a series of defeats across the Middle East, including its humiliating withdrawal from Afghanistan and its failure to dislodge Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

His reelection in May has led many Arab and European nations to restore diplomatic relations with Damascus, with border crossings reopening along with the return of ambassadors and consulates as they recognize political reality.

But Assad could not have held on to power without the explicit support of the Syrian people. No leader could have withstood the pressure exerted on him without it.

Not only has he defeated Washington’s regime-change operations – he has come out the other side stronger, having faced down five US presidents; Bill Clinton, George W Bush, Barack Obama, Donald Trump, and now Joe Biden.

The US now appears to be strengthening its relations with Kurds in the north of the country once more where its soldiers are based as an occupying force. The Biden administration recently announced there would be no troop withdrawal, reassuring Kurdish officials after the debacle in Afghanistan.

Despite Assad’s plans for decentralization announced in April, the Kurdish administration there is pursuing a policy that seeks political recognition from the US. It is a move that has alienated many of its supporters and undermines its dismissal of claims it acts as a “proxy force” in the region.

Having lost the military and now the political war on Syria, it seems logical that the US would change its strategy to foment further instability in Lebanon, with a return to civil war only serving to benefit Washington and Tel Aviv as they hope for the sectarian division of the country.

The hands of the US were all over the Tayouneh attack, which came straight out of the Washington/CIA copybook, mirroring its interventions and use of proxy forces to oust governments or prop up its client states in Latin America and across the world.

Geagea’s militia – many of whom have been trained by “Israel” – would be an obvious choice for the US given his previous overtures to Washington, confirmed in a 2008 Wikileaks cable.

He claimed that the Lebanese Forces had as many as 10,000 well-trained soldiers, telling the US embassy: “We can fight against Hezbollah. We just need your support to get arms for these fighters.”

But, speaking in a public address on Monday, Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah explained that the Shi’ite movement commands a 100,000 fighters-strong military structure, dwarfing that of the Lebanese Forces. The difference between the two, he pointed out, is that Hezbollah’s forces protect the Lebanese people.

It may be enough to concentrate the minds of the more pragmatic US officials, but the links between Washington and the Lebanese Forces run much deeper than that of Geagea who, despite his delusions of grandeur, remains a marginal figure and is unlikely to be trusted with a leading political role.

Walid Phares, a former leading light in the Lebanese Forces, now acts as a national security advisor and consultant on Middle Eastern politics in the US. Fleeing the country in 1990, he went on to advise the presidential election campaigns of Mitt Romney and then Donald Trump.

During the Lebanese Civil War, Phares told Christian militiamen that they were the vanguard of a war between the West and Islam. He justified the fight against Muslims by saying “we must have our own country, our own state, our own entity, and we have to be separate.”

Despite his peddling of far-right, Islamophobic conspiracy theories, he has rebranded himself as an academic and has testified to international bodies including the European Parliament and UN Security Council on international security matters and the Middle East.

He does not appear to have held any official government post, but his closeness to a former president and his movement in elite circles is clearly a cause for alarm.

The links do not end there. Soon after the shootings, journalist Hosein Mortada claimed to have identified one of the snipers as Shukri Abu Saab – who he said works as a security official at the US embassy.

Perhaps unsurprisingly there has been a blanket media silence over the revelations, while the embassy itself has not responded to the allegations, raising suspicions further.

US ambassador Dorothy Shea has long been accused of using the embassy as an outpost for the imperialist carve-up of Lebanon and opening the country up to the mercy of the World Bank and the IMF.

It may be passed off as a mere coincidence that under secretary of state Victoria Nuland was in the Lebanese capital at the time the ambush took place, pledging an additional $67 million to the country’s armed forces as she demanded economic reform and the need to hold elections as a prerequisite for continued US support.

It also may be a mere coincidence that the Lebanese army changed its narrative of events soon after the US cash boost to appear to blame Hezbollah for its own supporters being shot at. This is despite footage circulating that appears to show a Lebanese soldier shooting at protesters.

But the attempts to destabilize Lebanon came soon after the formation of a new government, ending 13-months of political deadlock, along with the US failure to disarm Hezbollah despite sanctions and other external pressure.

The US is also angered after Hezbollah smashed sanctions imposed by Washington on Iran and Syria, by importing oil to alleviate Lebanon’s fuel crisis. This slap in the face for imperialism was a humiliating defeat, breaking the siege of Lebanon with ease and at the same time rendering the restrictive measures meaningless.

It also exposed the declining power of the US on a global stage, with the dollar at risk of losing its position as the world currency and with it Washington’s ability to control global financial markets.

Solidarity among nations has proved vital in defeating the US, and it is solidarity among the Lebanese people that will help the country rise up once more and consign the likes of Geagea and the Lebanese Forces along with all those who seek to destroy Lebanon to the dustbin of history.

Al-Manar Security Sources: Confessions of the Arrested for Tayouneh Crime Led to Issuance of Subpoena against Geagea

October 22, 2021

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Security sources told Al-Manar TV that 25 suspects have been arrested for Tayouneh crime, adding that their confessions led to the identification of the culprits in the attack on the protesters and the locations in the scene surrounding.

The confessions also revealed that some of the culprits were holding guns and hiding inside cars in the neighborhoods close to the protest, according to Al-Manar sources.

The security sources added that a considerable number of the culprits have got out of sight.

The sources noted that political interventions led to procrastination of the issuance of subpoena against the head of the “Lebanese Forces” militia, Samir Geagea in order to identify the legal authority which will hear his testimony.

Seven martyrs and around 30 injured were reported during the armed attack carried out by the “Lebanese Forces” militiamen on the peaceful protestors in Tayouneh area on Thursday, October 14. The protesters were demonstrating against the politicized decisions of Al-Bitar.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

Lebanon: Samir Geagea Summoned By Lebanon’s Military Court over Tayouneh Ambush

22.10.2021

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen

The summon follows incriminating confessions made by members of the Lebanese Forces.

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Lebanese Forces Leader Samir Geagea
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Lebanese Forces Leader Samir Geagea was summoned by Lebanon’s military court for questioning over a shooting attack on a peaceful demonstration in Tayouneh. The summons follows incriminating confessions given by some of the arrested Lebanese Forces members, according to a source cited by Reuters.

Lebanon’s Interior Ministry has lately confirmed that the Lebanese Forces party was behind the attack that left 7 martyrs, saying that rooftop snipers aimed directly at people’s heads.

What do you need to know?

On Oct. 14, hundreds of Lebanese citizens were marching towards the Palace of Justice in Beirut. Protesters desired to object to the politicization of what was supposed to be a uniquely juridical process regarding the Beirut Port explosion that rocked the city almost a year and a half ago. 

The demonstration was supposed to be a peaceful act but the reaction the protesters received was not – some did not make it back home to their families. According to security reports cited by various Lebanese media outlets, it is almost certain that at some point in the march, the latter came under fire from snipers belonging to the Lebanese Forces Party (LF). The ambush left 7 people dead including Maryam, a mother of 5, who was deliberately sniped while attempting to get her children to safety after hearing gunfire.

Who is Samir Geagea?

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Samir Geagea, the head of the current LF party, has a long history of massacres. In 1978, Geagea headed an assassination squad that broke into Tony Frangieh’s home, the head of a rival faction named Al-Marda, and assassinated Frangie in cold blood, along with his wife and 3-year-old child.

What did Nasrallah say? 

Sayyed Nasrallah: ’LF’ The Biggest Existential Threat to Christians; Hezbollah Has 100k Fighters to Defend Lebanon

“The real endgame of the Lebanese Forces is to ignite a civil war that would lead to demographic change.”

This is what the Secretary-General of Hezbollah, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, revealed in his speech on the recent developments in Lebanon after the Tayouneh ambush.

Sayyed Nasrallah confirmed the desire of a party [The Lebanese Forces] to make “our people in Ain al-Remmaneh and Furn El Chebbak” believe that their surrounding neighbors in the Southern suburbs are their enemies, decrying the labeling of the murder of demonstrators as “an act of resistance” by some of the LF’s officials.

The Secretary-General pointed out that the head of this party is trying to generate an imaginary internal enemy in the hopes of keeping Christians worried about their local presence, thus spreading desperation in order to anoint himself as “the defender of Christians.”

The LF and its leader were not mentioned by name previously in order to avoid raising tension, the Secretary-General noted, despite the recurrent insults Hezbollah received from the right-wing party.

Lebanese and international condemnations 

Former Lebanese Prime Ministers Fouad Siniora, Saad Hariri, and Tammam Salam expressed their “deep shock and sorrow,” and completely condemned the reprehensible events which left seven martyrs in the Tayouneh (Beirut) area. 

In the same context, the international response continued on the recent Lebanese events, as Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Iran issued statements regarding the ambush.

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Lebanese Military Court Summons ’LF’ Leader over Tayyouneh Massacre 

22.10.2021

Lebanese Military Court Summons ’LF’ Leader over Tayyouneh Massacre 

By Staff, Agencies 

Lebanon’s military court summoned Thursday the Leader of the Lebanese Forces [LF] political party Samir Geagea, over the slaughtering of seven civilians in Beirut last week.

Lebanese media outlets on Thursday reported that the court summoned Geagea to hear his testimony on the October 14 violence in light of the confessions of those detained over the massacre that was committed in Tayyouneh area, a region close to Beirut’s southern suburb.

At least seven people were martyred and 60 others injured in an attack on October 14, during which Hezbollah and Amal Movement supporters were shot from rooftops while they were gathering to peacefully protest against a judge investigating last year’s Beirut Port explosion as they accused him of bias.

In a statement, Hezbollah and Amal Movement said armed groups affiliated with the LF party, a former militia group during the 1975-1990 civil war, fired at the protesters from rooftops, aiming at their heads, in an attempt to drag Lebanon into new sectarian strife.

Meanwhile, Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on Monday said that “the  Lebanese Forces’ true agenda for Lebanon is civil war.”

He further added: “The biggest existential threat to the Christians in Lebanon and the security of the Christian community is the Lebanese Forces party.”

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جعجع الضعيف المرتبك رغم التلميع المستمر: يكاد المريب يقول خذوني

 ناصر قنديل

منذ مجزرة الطيونة وماكينة إعلامية عملاقة متعددة الجنسيات تشتغل لتظهير سمير جعجع كبطل لحماية المسيحيين مرة، وكمنتصر قدم له كلام السيد حسن نصرالله وما جرى في الطيونة هدية مجانية لزعامة المسيحيين والسنة، مرة أخرى، وكسياسي محترف يحترم الدولة ويتقن فنون السياسة والإعلام، ويشكل خط المواجهة الأول لصالح مشروع الدولة  مع حزب الله المتهم بمشروع الدويلة، حتى جاءت المقابلة التلفزيونية التي أطل عبرها جعجع متحدثاً بنفسه عن نفسه، كاشفاً حجم تهافت المنطق وضعف الحجة ورثاثة الموقف، ويظهر المسخ الميليشيوي الذي يعشعش في ثنايا كلماته وينبض بين حروفه، كما تظهر الخلفية الإجرامية التي تحول الاتهامات الموجهة إليه إلى مضبطة قابلة لصرف، فيصح فيه القول الذي تلعثم وهو يقوله، ربما لأنه يحاكي حالته، يكاد المريب يقول خذوني.

خلاصة كلام جعجع تضعه في ثنائيات يستحيل جمعها في خطاب سياسي واحد، فما قدمه كاف لنسف خطابه الذي دأب على نثره كشظايا بوجه حزب الله طوال سنوات، مستفيداً من تقديمه من المحور المعادي لحزب الله بصفته القوة القيادية محلياً في هذا المحور ليرث كل التحريض الإعلامي وكل الشيطنة التي شارك بها كثيرون من سياسيين وتشكيلات مجتمع مدني ظهروا أمس مجرد عسكر في جيش يقوده سمير جعجع، لا مكان فيه للدولة ولا للقضاء، ولا يستقيم له نص متجانس قادر على الصمود أمام أي أسئلة جدية، وأمام أي تفكيك منطقي يفترض أن يتولاه من يحاوره، ولم تفلح في ستر هذه الفضيحة كل محاولات التجميل والماكياج التي منحت له من المحطة والبرنامج الذي استضافه، وما نفعت رقع الرتا في إظهار أكثر من خزق يتسرب منه التهافت ويظهر عبره الارتباك والضعف والتهافت، فسقط النص السياسي لأول السحرة المتقدمين في المشروع المعادي لحزب الله، بالضربة القاضية، من دون أن يتولاها أحد، لأنه تكفل بالنيابة عن كل الخصوم بتسديدها لنفسه.

أول دخولو شمعة عطولو، ظهر جعجع في أول كلمة نبست بها شفتاه، على حقيقته الميليشيوية، وعدائه للدولة والقضاء، بنبرة ومضمون كلماته تعليقاً على استدعائه للمثول كمستمع إليه أمام القضاء، ففجأة صار القضاء محسوباً على حزب الله، وكل النص المعادي لحزب الله مبني على اتهامه بالتشكيك بالقضاء، وفيما تشكيك حزب الله نابع من مطالعة طويلة تراكمت عبر شهور من التجربة مع كل من المحققين فادي صوان وطارق بيطار، ولم تترجم مرة واحدة بالقول لأحد لا للمثول أمام القاضي بنية الاستماع، أو كشاهد، وقد تكرر التسهيل لعمل القضاة مراراً تحت عناوين مشابهة وصولاً لشيء مختلف جداً جداً جداً، هو ادعاء القاضي على وزراء ورئيس حكومة سابق ومدراء أجهزة أمنية من دون سواهم الذين يماثلونهم رتبة ودوراً تجاه ملف النترات، من دون أي مبرر، وتجاوز نص دستوري يحصر مثل هذه الملاحقة بالمجلس الأعلى لمحاكمة الرؤساء والوزراء من دون أي تفسير، مع الإصرار على استثناء القضاة من نص قانوني لا دستوري يقول بملاحقتهم أمام محكمة خاصة بالقضاة، هي أدنى مرتبة دستورياً من إلزامية نص حصر الملاحقة بحق الرؤساء والوزراء بالمجلس الأعلى، وصولاً للتعمية على أسماء القضاة وحجبها عن الإعلام الذي شكل منصة حضور مريب للقاضي، وليس لدى حزب الله اسم واحد من أسماء قياديه مطلوب للمثول أمام القضاء، وجاء الأهم من خلال رفض جعجع العلني والمباشر لمجرد الاستماع إليه، ليسقط كل نصه ونصوص أصحابه بدعوة الغير للمثول وقد وجهت لهم اتهامات وتقررت ملاحقتهم، ولم يعد ممكناً لجعجع وأصحابه الجمع بين النصين، مع القضاء ليلاحق الغير ويتهمهم من دون وحدة معايير وبمخالفة نص دستوري، وضد القضاء لمجرد أن وجه لكم دعوة استماع؟ فقولوا نعم واحدة للقضاء أو لا واحدة للقضاء؟ وحزب الله جاهز ليأخذ بوصفتكم بلا تعديل.

ثاني الهنات غير الهينات، سقطة جعجع أمام الرئيس ميشال عون والتيار الوطني الحر، فكيف يستقيم القول بقضاء مستقل يدير تحقيق المرفأ، والتعيينات تمت وفقاً لجعجع برعاية رئيس الجمهورية والتيار، فكيف يستقيم ذلك مع اتهام الرئيس والتيار بتسليم الدولة لحزب الله، ومعركة حزب الله مع هؤلاء القضاة كما يصفها جعجع معركة وجود وحياة أو موت، وكيف يستقيم الجمع بين سيطرة حزب الله على الدولة، مع الحديث عن وصول حزب الله إلى طريق مسدود في المراجعة القضائية وثم في المراجعة السياسية، أي باللجوء إلى الحكومة، التي قيل من جعجع وأصحابه إنها حكومة حزب الله، فإذا كان حزب الله قد وصل إلى طريق مسدود في القضية التي يقول جعجع إنها مصيرية بالنسبة للحزب، فمتى يصرف حزب الله سيطرته على الدولة، فإما حزب الله غير مسيطر وهذا يفسر وصوله إلى طريق مسدود، وهذا يعني أن الرئيس عون والتيار الوطني الحر كان حليفاً لحزب الله يمارس استقلالية تامة ويختلف ولا يتبع ولا يطيع ولا يشتري وجوده في السلطة بالتبعية، وجعجع طبخ الرز بالبصل وأراد من الناس ألا تنتبه كي لا تسأل، لكن القبوات لا تخفي السماوات، فكيف إن كانت حبة صنع منها قبة؟

ثالث الأثافي غير خاف، فجعجع ليس حليفاً للنصرة وداعش والإخوان المسلمين، ولا هو من قال عن غزوة الأشرفية عام 2006 إنها تظاهرة سلمية لحلفاء، وعلى رغم تكسير الكنائس وتدمير السيارات وواجهات الأبنية واقتحام المنازل، لم يخرج أي من مناصريه بطلقة سلاح صيد، وهي الغزوة التي فرضت على العماد عون يومها تقريب موعد الإعلان عن التفاهم مع حزب الله لطمأنة المسيحيين وفي الأشرفية وعين الرمانة، ولذلك اختار كنيسة مار مخايل ولاقى القبول من حزب الله، الذي يرى الكثير من بيئته أنه يبدو تابعاً للتيار يراضيه ويسايره ويلبيه في كل طلباته، ويلقى اعتراضاً ورفضاً وتمنعاً في الكثير مما يطلب بالمقابل، وتنكر جعجع لواقعة الأشرفية يحمل إضافة للتعمية على الحقيقة أحد أمرين، إما أنه أعطى أمراً في عين الرمانة لم يعطه في الأشرفية، أو أنه يتهم أهل الأشرفية بالتخاذل، علماً أنهم نفذوا تعليماته بالتروي، بينما لم يسمع منه أهل عين الرمانة، خصوصاً محازبيه فيها والآتين من خارجها إليها، دعوة كتلك للمسالمة، بل سمعوا منه الدعوة للاستعداد للمواجهة قبل ليلة، ومهما أنكر جعجع هو لا يستطيع إنكار أن رفضه لمشاركة حزب الله في سورية لم يكن مجرد رفض لخروج الحزب عبر الحدود بل لأنه كان كما جاهر مراراً بالرهان على الجماعات المسلحة في سورية، وصولاً للرهان على بقائها في جرود لبنان الشرقية، بصفتها حليفاً، كما قالت زيارات الوفود والحلفاء إلى عرسال والكلام المقال في حضرة الدم هناك، بينما الثابت بالمقابل أن من قالت هذه الجماعات دفاعاً عن قرى وبلدات المسيحيين والمسلمين في لبنان كله لا في البقاع فقط هو حزب الله، فماذا يقول جعجع في اعتبار غزوة الأشرفية حركة سلمية وتوصيف احتلال الجرود بتموضع الثوار من جهة، وتصنيف حزب الله بالعدو والدعوة لمواجهته، من جهة مقابلة، غير أن ستر الفضيحة صعب بل مستحيل؟

هذا غيض من فيض، لحوار أسقط كل الهالة المصطنعة التي تشاركت في تلميع صورة جعجع عبرها وسائل إعلام لبنانية وعربية لأيام متصلة أملاً بتجميع حليب يصنع من لبنان يصلح لتلوين الحقائق وطمسها، فجاء وضرب قدر الحليب بقدمه وأسال الحليب على التراب، واللبنانيون لم يمر عليهم مشهد سياسي يختزن الضعف وينثر من حوله الهراء والكلام العبثي بلا سند، ويستخف بعقول الناس وذاكرتها، كما كانت إطلالة سمير جعجع، التي تصلح نموذجاً للتدريس الجامعي بالفشل المزدوج، تحت عنوان، عندما يسقط المحاور بالنقاط ويسقط الضيف بالضربة القاضية.

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This is Hezbollah!

 October 19, 2021

Hezbollah fighter Saidnaya

This image shows a Hezbollah fighter saluting the Statue of Jesus in the Syrian town of Saidnaya. The picture was taken in 2017, when Hezbollah fighters were engaged in fierce clashes aimed at cleansing Syria from Takfiri terrorists.

It was said that this fighter was martyred several months after this photo was captured.

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah on Monday (October 18, 2021) lashed out at Lebanese Forces party and its leader for portraying the Lebanese Resistance movement as an enemy and a threat to the Christians.

Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that Hezbollah has been for years defending the people in Lebanon and Syria, including the Christians, citing fierce battles with Takfiri terrorists in the two countries.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

Ghubeiri Municipality Files Lawsuit Against Geagea رئيس بلدية الغبيري في بيروت للميادين نت: دعوى قضائية ضد جعجع بأحداث الطيونة

20.10.2021 

Source: Al Mayadeen

By Al Mayadeen

Ghubeiri municipality in Beirut files a lawsuit against the Head of the Lebanese Forces party, Samir Geagea, in light of the Tayouneh ambush events.

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Ghubeiri municipality in Beirut has filed a lawsuit against the Head of the Lebanese Forces party, Samir Geagea.

The Ghubeiri municipality in Beirut has filed a lawsuit against the Head of the Lebanese Forces party, Samir Geagea, and against those arrested by the Lebanese army in light of the Tayouneh ambush events last Thursday.

Maan Al-Khalil, Head of Ghubeiri’s Municipality told Al Mayadeen that the lawsuit is the municipality’s right since one of its policemen, Mohammad Al-Sayed, was martyred during the incident and so was the wife of the police commissioner, referring to martyr Maryam Farhat. One other municipality employee was also injured.

Al-Khalil stressed that the lawsuit comes in the context of preserving the right of citizens to receive compensation, knowing that the incident caused huge harm and some people were forced to evacuate their houses.

The ambush left 7 martyrs and several injured after snipers opened fire on peaceful protesters against the politicization of the Beirut Blast investigation.

In a statement, the Lebanese Army announced arresting several members of the Lebanese Forces.

The number of detainees has reached 20, as some of the detained confessed to preparing for the Tayouneh ambush.

رئيس بلدية الغبيري في بيروت للميادين نت: دعوى قضائية ضد جعجع بأحداث الطيونة

المصدر: الميادين نت

رئيس بلدية الغبيري في بيروت يعلن رفع دعوى قضائية ضد رئيس حزب القوات اللبنانية سمير جعجع والموقوفين ومن يظهرهم التحقيق متورطين في حادثة الطيونة.

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رجل يسير بالقرب من الدماء في منطقة الطيونة بضاحية العاصمة بيروت الجنوبية في 14 تشرين الأول 2021  (أ ف ب)

 تقدّمت بلدية الغبيري في بيروت بدعوى قضائيّة ضد رئيس حزب “القوات” اللبنانية، سمير جعجع، في أحداث الطيونة التي جرت الخميس الماضي، والموقوفين لدى الجيش اللبناني ومن يظهرهم التحقيق متورطين في الجريمة.

رئيس البلدية معن الخليل قال للميادين نت إن “الدعوى هي حقّ شخصي من قبلنا بسبب استشهاد الشرطي في البلدية محمد السيّد، وزوجة مفوّض الشرطة مريم فرحات، وجرح موظف آخر”. فضلاً عن الأضرار المادية التي لحقت بالمباني السكنية إثر إطلاق الرصاص من قبل القناصين وإغلاق عدد من المؤسسات في المنطقة.

وأكد أن الدعوى تأتي في سياق الدفاع عن الحق العام وحقوق المواطنين حفاظاً على الأمن الاجتماعي والاقتصادي، “لأن الحادثة تسببت بأذى معنوي كبير للأهالي بعد اضطرار بعضهم إلى إخلاء بيوتهم إثر عمليات القنص وتضررها نتيجة ذلك”، مشيراً إلى أن الدعوى هي لحفظ حق البلدية والحق العام وضمان الحصول على تعويضات للمواطنين.

وكان ارتفعت حصيلة الشهداء إلى 7 إثر إطلاق قنّاصين النار على محتجِّين سلميين ضدّ تسييس التحقيق في انفجار مرفأ بيروت.

وأعلن مصدر رفيع في الجيش اللبناني للميادين عن توقيف عدد من عناصر حزب القوات اللبنانية، فيما وصل عدد الموقوفين اليوم إلى 20، لافتاً إلى أن منهم من اعترف بالتحضير لأحداث الطيونة.

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