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Part 2. Genesis of Hezbollah of Lebanon: Accounts of Robert Fisk

It is recommended, in order to appreciate the facts, eye-witness accounts, and reports of Robert Fisk, which points to the creation of Hezbollah and how it started to resist Israel occupation of Lebanon from 1982 to 2000, to read https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2011/09/11/part-1-genesis-of-hezbollah-in-lebanon-accounts-of-robert-fisk/

Robert Fisk wrote the book “Affliction of a Nation” and I am reading the Arabic translated version. Fisk was the correspondent to the British The Times in Beirut and covered Lebanon civil war for nine years.

“The Moslem Shias in south Lebanon believed the claims and pledges of Israel that Israel invasion was meant to “liberate the south from Palestinian occupation”.  Very quickly, the claims didn’t match what they inflicted on the Shias on the ground.  During the siege of West Beirut, most of the casualties were Shias living in the suburbs of Bourj Barajneh, Shiyah, and Hai Selum.

Sheikh Ali Mahdi Ibrahim (64 year-old) of the town of Adlun knew Ayatollah Khomeini intimately:  He studied in the Iraqi city of Najaf, where Khomeini spent 15 years of his exile. Sheikh Ibrahim said: “It is the Iranian revolutionary clerics who learned from us in Tyr…”  Many of Ibrahim students presented themselves as members of Hezbollah.  This was in 1984, and most of the kidnapping were claimed by “Islamic Jihad” before they adopted the name of Hezbollah.

When the Shia inhabitants in the south asked me “Are you a spy?”, it was less of their animosity against the western States behaviors, but rather relevant to their endemic isolation:  The successive Lebanese governments ignored the regions in the south and totally forgot to budget in any development resources.  It was incumbent on the “citizens” to shoulder the central State responsibilities in building schools, and hospitals…, even before the total collapse of the government in the civil war that started in April 1975 to 1991.

Before the Lebanese resistance got organized and spread to the south, most of the attacks and ambushes targeted the Israeli brigade 162, stationed in the Druze Chouf district, and commanded by Brigadier General Amnon Lifkin (39 year-old).  Ten years earlier, Lifkin commanded a terrorist team of the Mossad:  This team entered Beirut and assassinated three Palestinian officials; two Israeli soldiers were killed in this infiltration (Read “Searching for the red prince” by Barzhar Whitan Haber).

As of February 1983, this brigade was ambushed eight times.  I arrived in March to a headquarter located in a villa.  The Israeli soldiers were celebrating their Jewish Easter.  One soldier told me “There is no future to Lebanon”. Suddenly, a detonation like a thunder-clap shook the villa.  The second detonation got the soldiers scrambling for their guns and running outside.  Two Jeeps were ambushed and a rocket missile killed two soldiers and injured many others.  The spirit in the villa had changed: Up until now, it didn’t yet sink in the Israelis that they were an occupation force, and unwanted in the land.

By mid May, all hopes had evaporated to staying in the Chouf. Lifkin was making plans to withdraw his troops to north Saida.  Already, brigade 162 had lost 118 soldiers in 6 months (one-fourth the total loss during the invasion). In the south, the Israeli defense line extended from the Awali River, crossing the valley of Bisry River, all the way to the Baruk Mountain. Israel had built helicopter fields, radar stations, and depots for tanks…

In June 1983, Israel Shin Beth secret agents, in civilian cloths, and backed up by soldiers rounded-up 60 young men in the city of Tyr Palestinian camps.  In one month, the Lebanese resistance ambushed the occupation troops 35 times on the regular roads lounging the Karawon artificial lake.  Israel started constructing a highway to avoid old roads.

Israel adopted blackmail tactics:  Mayors of towns and villages had to cough up $5,000 per month in order to hire Israeli appointed “guards” to secure “law and order”.  Otherwise, the sons of the village will not be released from the Ansar prison, and the militias will barge into town, ransack it and round-up more people to prison…

Mayor (mokhtar) Ahmad Shebli of Beit Leef wrote to the UN Netherlands peace force contingent saying: “Are we living within the State of Israel?”  The mokhtar of Yater disbursed the first installment and refused to pay more. Consequently, Israel set up check points at the exit of the town and levied fees on every car and truck leaving town.

In June 10, an Israeli convoy was ambushed by 10 resistance fighters and three soldiers killed.  The town of Gebsheet was stormed and its religious cleric sheikh Ragheb Harb arrested and detained in Tyr.  Gebsheet was thus on the resistance path. When I visited Gebsheet the next day, a banner said “Death is part of our attributes. Martyrdom is a grace from God”.  The Mosque displayed large photos of Khomeini and Imam Moussa Sadr.  A bearded young man named Jihad, a member of Islamic Jihad, was talking of “America the greatest Satan”  Jihad said: “For months, Israel secret service agent, code-named Abu Nour, tried hard to meet sheikh Ragheb, who refused any communication with this occupation officer.  On March 17, sheikh Ragheb was arrested.

A week later after the arrest of Ragheb, ten militia “guards” drove to the Shin Beth headquarter in Nabatieh and returned their guns:  They refused to be part of Israel watch dogs.  Israel appointed Lebanese to head selected associations in order to facilitate communications; for example, requesting the freeing of prisoners in exchange of favors…

On September 4, Israel withdrew its forces from Chouf to north of Saida.  It re-organized the 25,000 occupation forces, and maintained 300 tanks, and 100 field guns in 5 brigades.

In November 4, a Lebanese kamikaze blew up his car, packed with explosive, in the Israel military headquarter in Tyr; over 75 people were killed instantly.  It was time for Israel to regroup its troops and shrink its occupation territory.  (to be continued)

South Lebanon living conditions: Under 22 years of Israel occupation

I am attaching a summary of Robert Fisk accounts in the book “Afflictions of a Nation“.  Fisk was a correspondent to the British The Times and covered the civil war in Lebanon for 9 years.

“Four months after the genocide, which was committed by Israel in the Palestinian camps of Sabra and Chatila (Beirut, 1982), Israel occupation troops suffered casualties due to local resistance factions using hand grenades, land mines, and automatic rifles. All in all, 17 Israeli soldiers were killed and over 70 injured.

As Israel was surrounding the Capital Beirut, it was already imposing its military administration on a region of over 1,000 sq.miles.  Israel re-organized the Saad Haddad militias in the south and brought in the Christian fascist Phalanges militias (Kataeb) to the city of Saida and East Saida.

In the same time, Israel Shin Beth intelligence agency hired hundreds of Moslem Shia mercenaries who used to be members of the Amal militias, in order to keep “law and order” in the Shia towns and villages.

By the end of June, the UN peace keeping forces accounted for hundreds of hired armed militias working within their zone of control. These militias had the name of “National Guards” and Local Guards”.  These guards set up road blocks and searched cars…

In the city of Saida, Israel occupied the mayor official quarters.  Soon, dozens of Palestinian civilians were found killed on roads leading to Christian towns, east of Saida. Leaflets were distributed encouraging the Lebanese to “clean up” the region of Palestinians.  The inhabitants of Saida knew that the leaflets were the making of Israel.

On February 1983, leaflets signed “Cedar Guards” warned that “Our goal is to force every Palestinian to leave Lebanon“, same tactics that Israel has adopted to pressure Palestinians from vacating their homes and towns in 1948. A Moslem Sunni old man commented: “We thought that Israel will liberate us. Instead, they are bringing in all kinds of foreign elements to harass us.”

Israel was implementing the same tactics applied in the West bank and Gaza: Israel was demonstrating that it is here to stay in south Lebanon for a long time.

The Moslem Shia highest cleric, Mohammad Mahdi Shams el Din exhorted the people to “refuse any cooperation, in any form and shape, with the local militias, which were constituted by Israel”

A secret UN report stated: “Israel is exercising coercion, arrest, and blackmail in the zone under our control”  For example, in the town of Tebnine, Israel pressured the inhabitants to fund 10 local guards, otherwise, “foreign elements” will be dispatched to fill in the void.

The UN report continued: “Israel is about to make things worse in order to demonstrate to the world community that the UN forces are helpless in keeping peace and order in their zone of control.  In one month, Israel denied 25 request for UN helicopters to taking off from the UN base in Nakoura.  Two of the requests were to fly the chief UN commander, the Irish General William Callahan”

Fisk wrote: “I used to visit the south in company of the correspondents Anderson, Faramarzy, and Paola Krochiany (from the Associated Press).  An old man told us “The Israeli officers keep visiting our village, every week.  They demand that I gather intelligence for them, in return for the release of my son from the Ansar prison, established by Israel within Lebanon (customary blackmail tactics used by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territories. That is why Israel round-up innocent Palestinian teenagers and put them in prison without trial). I gave them information, but my son is still in prison.

I noticed that all vegetables and fruits produces in Saida souk were imported from Israel. Lebanese trucks loaded the goods from Israel border in Nakoura. The purpose was to pressure Lebanese farmers to leaving their lands.

There is this Christian village of Mieh wa Mieh in east Saida. This village overlooks Saida and the Palestinian camp of Ain el Helweh.  Mieh wa Mieh has also a small Palestinian camps, of mostly Christians, as the one in Dbayeh, close to Jounieh, that the Christian militias vacated in 1976 to build luxury real estate buildings.

Within 6 weeks, 12 Palestinian civilians were assassinated, a terror tactics applied by Israel.  The Palestinians in Mieh wa Mieh camp were scared and felt that another genocide was being perpetrated.  An old woman said: “When the Israelis came last June, they proclaimed that they are here to protect us.  Instead, they are rounding up our youth and sending them to Ansar prison. The Phalangists arrived in November and burned houses and committed atrocities. Acts of terrorism are increasing drastically.Last week, a bomb demolished 14 houses at the fringe of the camp.  They are trying to force us into fleeing”.

As the old woman was talking to us, a boy arrived breathless and said “A Phalanges car is arriving”  The phalanges militias were suspicious of foreign correspondents discussing with the villagers.

Israel Colonel Hayim, of Israel Shin Beth, was constantly touring the Shia villages in the district, of about 24 towns.  Hayim job was to blackmail the mayors (mokhtar) to coughing up $5,000 per month, on the ground of providing funds for the maintenance of the local guards.

Either you pay or your son will be taken to Ansar prison” was one line of blackmail. For example, taxes were levied on every truck crossing a road block. Trucks loaded with electronic goods were charged $60; trucks loaded with tires $110; trucks carrying vegetables and fruits $80; and trucks carrying sugar and wheat…$72.

Towns that refused to be blackmailed were harassed by militias of Saad Haddad.  Haddad militias would storm the town, round-up civilians, burn a few houses and ransack other. These terror tactics infuriated the inhabitants of the south.

Israel conducted a thorough census in the south of 250,000 people.  The census sheet was 27 pages long. Israel was effectively planning to stay for the long haul…”

The follow-up article describes how Lebanese resistance forces got organized and managed to kick out Israel from the Land in the year 2000, without negotiations or any preconditions.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

July 2020
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