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Lebanon's Sunnis and the Civil War
Lebanon's Sunnis and the Civil War
Published by Watser?
Tablet Israel


Israel’s meddling in Lebanon started after the raids by Palestinian guerrillas in the 1960s. The aim of the retaliatory raids was probably to get the Lebanese government to take measures against the Palestinian armed activities. The Lebanese governments were too weak for that however, and besides that, the Palestinian question was too controversial a political subject. It is however possible that the Israelis were aware of that and that the raids were meant to provoke a confrontation between the different parties. This would open the way for the sectarian division of Lebanon that Syria feared so much. In Lebanon itself, rumours were spreading about Israeli and even American plans to divide Lebanon as had happened to Cyprus.83

Whatever the truth of this, until 1976 the Israelis limited themselves to bombings and raids. In addition, Israeli bulldozers built unpaved roads to make raids more easy.84 From 1976 onward, Israel started supplying large amounts of weaponry to Maronite militias, ranging from handguns to tanks. Maronite militia members were also trained by Israelis, both inside Israel and in Lebanon.85

Israel had also opened two gates in the fence that marked the border between Israel and Lebanon. This was the start of a new policy called ‘the good fence’. This meant Lebanese inhabitants of the border area were allowed into Israel for medical treatments, to sell their products or to work.86

The Israelis kept extending their activities in the south with patrols, observation posts and setting up a rightist militia as a buffer on the border. In 1978, Israel invaded southern Lebanon with a large military force and set up a so-called security zone. After the invasion of 1982, Israel occupied a large area of Lebanon. One of the goals was to destroy the political threat formed by the PLO. This goal was not reached however. Another goal was to enforce a peace treaty on Lebanon: the invasion took place three months before the Lebanese presidential elections. After Bachir Gemayel was killed, his brother Amin became president with Israeli support. On 17 May 1983, a treaty was signed which was supposed to lead to a mutual withdrawal of Syrian and Israeli troops. Syria however had not been involved in the negotiations and had no intent whatsoever of getting out of Lebanon. The number of attacks against Israeli troops was rising so much however that Israel withdrew unilaterally under pressure of public opinion.

After the Israeli withdrawal from the Shouf Mountains, heavy fighting broke out between the Druze PSP and the Lebanese Forces that Israel had allowed into the Shouf. Israel supported both parties while Syria was also arming the Druze. Israel’s motive was divide and rule. After the attempt to sign a peace agreement with Lebanon had failed, Israel decided to fan the sectarian flames. Not only did it support the Druze, it also allowed the Shi’ites to keep their weapons.87 But this policy did not succeed in winning any hearts and minds. The harsh repression by the Israelis managed to alienate the population they had partially charmed with their ‘good fence’ policy.88


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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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