Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Marwan Bargouthy

Playing ATARI with Isreal “defense forces”: Lebanese Resistance

Samir Kantar, an exchanged Lebanese prisoner, released from Israeli jails after 28 years of detention, published a book in Arabic.

During the war in 2006, while in prison, Samir told the warden who was boasting that Hezbollah will be crushed in a couple of days: “Just wait another week and you will realize that the Lebanese Resistance is playing ATARI with Israel “defense forces“.

Thirty-three days later, Israel recognized that it failed in all its goals and missions against Hezbollah and begged the US to facilitate urgently a UN disengagement resolution, currently known as resolution 1701.  US ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, had refused any kinds of negotiations for an entire month until Israel explicitly urged him to immediately accept a cease-fire.

Hadarim prison, July 12, 2006.

“I woke up early before the daily count. I sleep on the upper deck, over my prison mate Mohammad Abu Jamous.  Mohammad told me that he read on the TV of an engagement at the Lebanese borders.  I thought Israel is retaliating in Chebaa Farms in Lebanon for the kidnapping of the soldier Gealad Shaleet in Gaza.

Another prisoner, Abdel Nasser Issa, informed me that Hezbollah successfully kidnapped Israeli soldiers.

In January 2004, Israel exchanged prisoners, among them were Cheihk Obeid, Al Dirani, and Anwar Yassine.  Sharon had refused that I be included in the swap and Hassan Nasr Allah, Secretary General of Hezbollah, had sworn to kidnap more soldiers for my release.

In general, Israel TV stations never give details during the day and just release news at night when people are at home and not willing to demonstrate or bother the officials. The T Stations mentioned this sentence: “It appears that Hezbollah is planning something“.  Israel defense forces, the only sources for news during war-time, refrain from divulging news quickly because it takes into account public reactions.

I restrained from calling Al Haj who is my intermediary with Nasr Allah, fearing that my cell might be searched and my secret phone found: We converse in coded language over the cellular phone.  Around 10 am, correspondent Alon Ben David said: “It seems Hezbollah executed a strategic operation”  I was convinced then that the resistance kidnapped soldiers.

Rony Daniel on TV 2 said: “Hezbollah started operations on the border and Israel is retaliating”.  A prisoner knocked on my wall and asked me to watch Al Jazeera cable channel; it wrote as an urgent news: “Hezbollah kidnapped two soldiers”  I told a prison guard the good news and he hurried to the administration quarters for confirmation on their coded channel named “YES“.

Israel scrambled all Arabic channels and we had to contend with the Hebrew ones. I had learned Hebrew but no news on this engagement were forthcoming.

The Hebrew TV 10 was relaying news taken from Al Manar channel (Hezbollah’s channel) along with pictures.  My brother and mother were speaking on Al Manar.  They were thanking the resistance and Nasr Allah for keeping their promise.

Israel TVs are now translating the speech of Nasr Allah saying: “This is the Loyal Promise Day; this is Samir Kuntar, Yahya Skaf, and Nassim Nasr Day.  You are close to the line for liberty.  If Israel wants war we will go it all the way.  The entire world will not be able to retake the prisoners without the release of Samir Kuntar and his companions.”

Israel government was to meet at 8 pm.  A swap occurred in 2000 for 3 Israeli soldiers; thus, there is no reason for an all out war on account of 2 soldiers, but I had the feeling that Israel will launch devastating air bombing and assassinating a few Hezbollah leaders.  At 10 am, Israel bombed all bridges linking Lebanon to its south region, most of the main roads, and many villages.

The names of the kidnapped soldiers were released:  They were Ehod Goldwasser and Eldad Regive.  I was apprehensive that it was going to be tough on Lebanon and the resistance but I was confident that Hezbollah will not be broken. I told my companions in prison: “There are no military expert in this government.  The chief of staff Dan Haluts and the intelligence officer Amos Yadlin are from the air force and they will not engage the army at this junction, and the new officers are too arrogant to evaluating properly the determination of Hezbollah’s military training and discipline. Israel society has gotten used to consumerism habit and more stranger to ideological stands.

In the first three days, the prison guards were showing off their jubilation; and then Hezbollah started retaliating to Israel fire with accurate hits in Northern Israel and the Golan Heights.  One million Israelis in the northern colonies vacated their villages and headed south.  Hezbollah missiles reached strategic locations in Haifa and many airfields.

On the evening of the third day, I passed by the prison administration to resolving a few problems concerning prison conditions.  A guard told me that the house of Nasr allah was destroyed: I didn’t tell him that Nasr Allah had changed location.  As I returned to my cell, Nasr Allah was delivering a speech on Al Manar and the radio airwaves Al Nour (light) dismissing his premature death and then, he asked us to look toward the sea:  The modern Israeli frigate Hanif was on fire.  The prisoners congratulated me “mabrouk”.  By 10:30 pm, Israel’s TV confirmed that Hanif was hit and many sailors dead and missing.

I called Joseph Samaha, Owner and editor in chief of the daily Al Akhbar; he explained to me his political reading of the situation: The US strategy for a Greater Middle-Eastern plan has failed.  Hezbollah has denied Israel a clear-cut victory.  Samaha joked: “Israel will be demanding that you apologize for instigating this war.”

Nasr Allah declared that the missiles of the resistance avoided the petrochemical complexes in Haifa in order to avoid any unnecessary escalation of the war.  A week later, a special prison force barged in my cell at 5 am for searching routine.  The search also targeted the other three leaders in prison: Marwan Bargouthy, Issa, and Toufic Abu Naim.  I was lucky that my secret phone was not found.

On the 10th day, Nahum Bernig wrote in Yediot Ahranote: “Run Olmert, run away from Lebanon”.  Marwan Bargouthy acknowledged that the Lebanese Resistance demonstrate total control in this war.  I learned not to pressure the sensitiveness of the Palestinian prisoners for the successes of the Lebanese Resistance.

The Arabic channels were restored without us asking.  During the day, Israel would declare capturing bordering towns such as Maroon El Rass or Bent Jubail and then retreating at sun down with heavy casualties. A missile “Khybar One” landed on Afoula, a major military city and airfield in the middle of Israel.

On the 15th day, an intelligence prison officer named Bettie bragged that Hezbollah will soon be dismantled.  I told her:” Israel will withdraw defeated.”  She retorted vehemently: “You know that Israel is invincible“.  I replied: “Wait another week Bettie and you will recognize that Hezbollah played ATARI with your army.”  Marwan Bargouthy exploded in laughter and told the prisoners of my good joke.

On day 22, Israel disseminated the news that Nasr Allah was kidnapped in Baalback.  Rony Daniel on TV 2 disparaged Israel’s falsehood for capturing an individual with the same namesake.  As 150 missiles per hour landed on Israel’s colonies, from this day on the prison guards would accept my news for correct facts.

On day 30 of the war, Israel amassed tanks and infantry for crossing Lebanon borders.  Israel suffered the destruction of 75 Merkava tanks and the killing of  two dozens of its officers.  Israel launched 3 million cluster bombs in order to deny the Lebanese returning home.

The next day of the official cease-fire, all 500, 000 displaced Lebanese were back home, oblivious to warnings and danger appeals from our government.




June 2023

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