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Lebanon's Sunnis and the Civil War
Lebanon's Sunnis and the Civil War
Published by Watser?
Tablet Consequences of the Palestinian actions

Consequences of the Palestinian actions

The raids by the Palestinian fighters resulted in Israeli retaliations inside Lebanon. That meant, in turn, that the Lebanese state tried to control the Palestinian resistance. In 1968 and 1969, fights between Palestinians and the Lebanese army became more frequent. The Palestinians however had a lot of sympathisers under the Lebanese population, especially among Muslims, but also among Christians with the exception of the Maronites. This put Sunni prime-ministers in a difficult position. If they were to deploy the army against the Palestinians they would lose support among voters. In April 1969, prime-minister Rashid Karami resigned after the Lebanese army clashed with pro-Palestinian demonstrators. The government crisis lasted for months while the fights between the army and the guerrillas continued. Syria put pressure on Lebanon by closing the borders on 21 October. On 23 October, al-Sa’iqa started attacking Lebanese border positions.51 Eventually negotiations started in Cairo between the Lebanese army commander Emile Boustani and PLO-leader Yasir Arafat. On 3 November it was announced that an agreement had been reached (the Cairo Accord).52 This accord meant that the Palestinian armed presence was legalised. The Palestinians received the right to set up bases inside Lebanon. They also were given control of the refugee camps which, up to that point, had been under strict control by the Deuxième Bureau.53 However, the Accord failed to stop the sporadic fighting between Palestinians and the Lebanese army.

In September of 1970, the PFLP hijacked several planes and flew them to Jordan where they were blown up after the hostages were released. The Jordanian army then attacked the Palestinian guerrillas who had set up bases in Jordan (Black September). In the months after, the Jordanian army drove back the Palestinian resistance and in July 1971, the armed Palestinian presence in Jordan was ended completely.54

This meant that only Lebanon remained as a base for the guerrillas (Egypt and Syria did not allow raids from their territory) and a huge influx of Palestinians followed. The numbers are disputed: according to international organisations, there were 100,000 but Lebanese Christians put it at between 200,000 and 300,000 with many fighters among them.55

In southern Lebanon the pattern of Palestinian raids into Israel and Israeli raids into Lebanon and skirmishes between the Palestinians and the Lebanese army continued. Funerals for guerrillas often became demonstrations against the government and the army which failed to, or did not want to, stop the Israeli raids but did attack the Palestinian guerrillas. On the night of 3 April 1973 there was an Israeli raid that killed 3 Palestinian leaders in an attack on the PFLP headquarters in Sabra camp. Although the Israelis passed a couple of army barracks on the way and were even directing traffic in downtown Beirut, the army remained passive. Prime-minister Saeb Salam demanded the army commander’s resignation and when the president refused he resigned himself. The funeral for the Palestinians killed turned into a demonstration that was joined by 250,000 people.56

Two weeks later heavy fighting broke out between the army and Palestinian guerrillas when 3 guerrillas (2 Lebanese among them)57 were arrested trying to board a plane to Nice carrying explosives. The PFLP kidnapped 3 soldiers in response. The fights spread quickly among the camps and suburbs of Beirut and the next day to the Bekaa valley where it came to clashes between the army and PLA-units that had entered from Syria,58 no doubt ordered in by the Syrian regime. Syria later closed its border to put more pressure on Lebanon. These clashes were a prelude to the civil war: on the side of the Palestinians the Communist Party of Lebanon (CPL), the Organisation of Communist Action (OCA) and al-Murabitun (MIN) joined the fighting, while the Kataeb fought alongside the army.59

Eventually, after arbitration by some Arab states an agreement was reached, the so-called Melkart Protocol (named after the hotel where the negotiations were held). This basically reaffirmed the Cairo Accord. This was the end of serious confrontations between the army and the Palestinians. In July 1974, however, there were fights between Palestinian guerrillas and the Kataeb who had appointed themselves protectors of the Lebanese state. Besides the Kataeb there were other Maronite militias, like an-Numur (the Tigers) commanded by Dany Chamoun (Camille Chamoun’s son) and the Zghorta Liberation Army (Zghorta is a Christian town in the north near Tripoli), better known as the Marada Brigade, commanded by Tony Frangieh (son of Suleiman Frangieh, the president from 1970-1975). They started arming and training more and more after the Cairo Accord. The clashes in 1973 gave a new impulse to the growth of these militias. The Kataeb started to recruit outside of its party membership.60 The left-wing and Nasserist parties began to strengthen their militias as well.


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Thanks, from:
curses (08-02-2008), Sophia (01-22-2011), Stormlight (08-01-2008)
By Watser? on 12-27-2010, 12:10 AM
News Re: Lebanon's Sunnis and the Civil War

Here's a story from the Lebanese press about one former member of Tawhid who was murdered Saturday in the Palestinian camp Ain al Hilweh, near Sidon.
Located on the outskirts of the coastal city of Sidon, Ain al-Hilweh, like most other Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, does not fall under the control of the Lebanese government but under that of local Palestinian armed factions.

The camp saw normal activity Sunday morning, one day after the body of Ghandi Sahmarani, a member in the disbanded Jund al-Sham Islamist group was found.

Security sources said that Sahmarani, who is a Lebanese citizen wanted by Lebanese authorities, was found hand cuffed, leg cuffed and struck by a sharp device on the head. Sahmarani who hasn’t shown up for a long time, used to live in the Taamir neighborhood, which lies to the north of the camp, and which is considered a stronghold for Salafi Islamists. The area falls under the influence of Osbat al-Ansar, an Islamist group.

The fugitive was a member of Al-Tawhid al-Islami movement in the 1980’s, during which he participated in the fierce battles that broke out between the movement and the Syrian Army in Tripoli. He left Tripoli in 1987 and moved to Sidon where he joined a number of fundamentalist movements including Osbat al-Ansar and Jund al-Sham. After the disbandment of Jund al-Sham, Sahmarani joined Fatah al-Islam.

Sahmarani reportedly sheltered a number of Islamists who fled the northern Dinnieh district after taking part in the clashes that erupted between their comrades and the Lebanese Army in the district in 2000.

As a member of Jund al-Sham, the group fought the Lebanese Army several times. Armed clashes broke out between the two around Ain al-Hilweh in 2007, when the army was fighting Fatah al-Islam in the northern Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr al-Bared.
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By Watser? on 10-28-2014, 01:10 PM
Default Re: Lebanon's Sunnis and the Civil War

"The army has taken over Bab al-Tebbaneh," said the spokesman, adding that troops had captured 162 fighters since Friday.

The army urged other fighters still at large to turn themselves in.

The soldiers carried out house-to-house searches and made several weapons seizures.

A 72-year-old woman said she had never before been forced out of Bab al-Tebbaneh, "not even during the civil war. But this time, I had to flee my house, along with my five grandchildren. I am in charge of them, because their father is in jail", said Umm Mohammed Jaaburi. "The violence was unprecedented," she said.
Lebanon army back in control of Tripoli
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By Watser? on 10-30-2014, 02:36 PM
Default Re: Lebanon's Sunnis and the Civil War

No two people would disagree about the outcome of the most recent round of clashes in Tripoli. The army was able to defeat the gunmen. The outcome is unambiguous, at least in terms of appearances. The Lebanese army succeeded in driving the gunmen underground and removed all signs of their former existence. It set up checkpoints and carried out raids in areas that were forbidden to it in the past even if it cost the lives of 12 officers and soldiers, while there were no heavy casualties among the gunmen.
Jihadi groups in north Lebanon admit to defeat in battle against the army | Al Akhbar English
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