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"Palestinian" Islamist major role in Lebanon 1970s "civil war" killing tenths of thousands

Reader comment on item: "Death to America" in Lebanon

Submitted by Hoda (United States), Jun 11, 2021 at 07:56

Palestinian refugees may yield weapons

Jerusalem Post Staff. JPost, Oct 17, 2005.

Lebanon has long viewed the armed Palestinians with suspicion, largely due to the guerrillas' role in the 1975-90 civil war.

https://www.jpost.com/middle-east/palestinian-refugees-may-yield-weapons

Fatah - Ynetnews, Feb 26, 2009.

In Lebanon, Fatah and Arafat soon became pivotal players in the Civil War which enveloped the country in 1975. Pressured by the PFLP, the DFLP and the Palestine Liberation Front (PLF), Fatah eventually aligned itself with the Left's Lebanese National Movement, but lost its Syrian ally – President Hafez Assad, who feared loosing control over Lebanon – in the process. Assad eventually sent his forces to fight alongside Beirut's hardliner Right against the Lebanese Left, Fatah and PLO operatives. The subsequent clashes between the sides, which went on until the early 1990's, left thousands of Palestinians dead.

https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3678223,00.html

Is Lebanon on the verge of a civil war?. Lebanon does not face collapse, but any match could ignite a huge fire. Interpretation. Ulpan Israel Hayom, Aug 26, 2015.

I still remember April 13, 1975, when PLO terrorists shot at a Christian bus, opening the Lebanese Civil War, which ended in 1990.

https://www.israelhayom.co.il/article/309331

Arafat Always Goes Too Far, WSJ, July 9, 2001.

Robert L. Pollock

PLO-affiliated conglomerates, including one controlled by Ahmed Qurei, who would later negotiate the Oslo Accords, monopolized everything from shoes to baby food. Billions of dollars flowed through the PLO, the only thorough record of which seemed to be a small notebook Mr. Arafat carried on his person. His underlings levied arbitrary taxes on the Lebanese, and practiced other forms of extortion, car theft and racketeering.

That year -- 1975 -- Christian rage boiled over, and Lebanon's long civil war began. By early 1976, the PLO and its allies controlled most of the country. But that summer Palestinian assassins murdered the U.S. ambassador to Lebanon, and the U.S., Israel and the Arab states tacitly supported a Syrian-led invasion of the country, which reversed many PLO gains. An October ceasefire stabilized the situation. But 40,000 had been killed. And in subsequent years, PLO attacks into Israel continued, provoking more Israeli retaliation.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB994634677434596979

Viewpoint. Inside Lebanon: A minister's View. Sumter Daily Item - Jan 29, 1983

... The PLO came to Lebanon 12 years ago, after it was evicted from Jordan by King Hussein, that "Black September" in 1970, Hussein's troops killed 10,000 PLO fighters in the expulsion from Jordan of these terrorists which were an increasing threat to the stability of his government. Eight years ago, in 1974, war broke out in Lebanon, as the PLO attempted to wrest this ancient country from its own people. From 1974 to 1982, over 100,000 people were killed in Lebanon by the PLO, half a million were injured, and one million were left homeless, without any significant world objection. The PLO siege of Lebanon, which has been incorrectly portrayed as a civil war, was in fact a reign of terror, during which anyone who refused to cooperate with the PLO was forcibly evicted from his home, watched his wife and daughters raped and mutilated, was tortured and killed, or perhaps just quietly disappeared. The Lebanese people — both Moslem and Christian — were prisoners within their own country.

In additions to the systematic terrorization of Lebanon, the PLO over the past eight years has repeatedly shelled the northern area of Israel, crossed the Israeli border in attacks on civilian people, and from Beirut directed attacks on Israeli diplomats and offices throughout the world, the most recent being the attempted assassination of Israel's ambassador to England, Shlome Argov. The people of Lebanon were fed up with the situation, and some of the several Lebanese factions, mainly Christian, appealed to Israel for assistance, Israel, equally fed up with the constant endangerment of the population of the Galilee, concurred, and in early July of this year the Israeli Army entered South Lebanon.

... We saw the PLO headquarters in Sidon, built near the town square, but underground, beneath a large and popular amusement park (complete with ferris wheel and roller coaster), "hiding beneath the skirts of women." We saw the Moslem hospital which the PLO used as an armament depot, marking their crates of live ammunition with the symbol of the Palestine Red Crescent (the local version of the Red Cross, and whose chairman is the brother of Yassar Arafat; most of the tragically inflated statistics on civilian casualties in Lebanon were provided by the Palestine Red Crescent issued without confirmation by the International Red Cross, which has since discovered how it was manipulated and has issued a formal retraction of the civilian casualty statistics). We talked with young men and old men in the streets of Sidon, candidly and happily. They told us how glad they are to have the Israeli army come in, how their freedom has been restored after eight years. They called the Israeli army "the army of liberation." Nowhere could we find a dissenting opinion.

We were on a hill at the end of the Beirut airport, looking over West Beirut, where the Israeli army estimates that 9,000 PLO terrorists are holding several more thousand Lebanese civilians as hostages. The Israeli army a few days ago asked those civilians who wished to leave West Beirut to come to the beach to be picked up; on their way to the beach, the PLO killed all those citizens, denouncing them as traitors.

... We drove back south, to the Maronite (Greek Catholic) village of Damour. Once a village of 40.000 Christians, "'they massacred over 10,000 of the citizens,"' and drove the rest out of the village. The village was taken over as a PLO barracks.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=7YgiAAAAIBAJ&sjid=v6oFAAAAIBAJ&pg=4952,3652451&hl=en

Alan M. Tigay (1980). "Myths and Facts 1980: A Concise Record of the Arab-Israeli Conflict." p. 153.

Prior to the 1967 war, an ominous phrase about Jews and Christians was heard in the Arab world: "First the Saturday people , then the Sunday people." Historian Bernard Lewis writes: "The Saturday people have proved unexpectedly recalcitrant, and recent events in Lebanon indicate that the priorities may have been reversed." (Commentary , January 1976).

On Oct. 2 , 1977, Patrick Seale wrote in the London Observer, "Secular nationalism throughout the Arab world has lost ground to a militant revival of Islamic orthodoxy , making all minorities tremble."

Recently, anti-Christian sentiment erupted in Lebanon where ideological and class warfare also split along Moslem-Christian lines.

Cries for a jihad (Moslem holy war) were frequent. Christians in the town of Damour were driven from their homes. An estimated 20,000 Christians died in the two-year civil war.

https://books.google.com/books?id=5SK7AAAAIAAJ&q=damour+jihad

Palestinian emissaries came on January 15, 1976, roused the Mohammedans of Kab - Elias against the "disbelievers" with whom they have coexisted for several generation..

https://books.google.com/books?id=KcBVAAAAYAAJ&q=%22En+d%C3%A9pit+de+cet+accord+,+des+%C3%A9missaires%22

PLO Policy towards the Christian Community during the Civil War in Lebanon], ICT, May 7, 2008.

The First Stage of the War: April–October 1975

Lebanon's third civil war is still considered its worst. The war is divided into four time frames, April-October 1975, October-December 1975, January-June 1976, June-October 1976.

On the February 26, 1975, several left wing Lebanese parties organized local fishermen to demonstrate against the government owned fishing company. As the demonstrators blocked the Beirut-Sidon highway, the Lebanese Army was called in. They clashed with left wing Muslims and members of the Palestinian Refusal Front. After five days of fighting, six soldiers and eighteen civilians were dead, including the leader of the NLP (National Liberal Party) movement Maruf Saada[39]. Although most scholars blame the Christians for the death of Saada, the former head of the Mossad dispatch in Beirut, Eliezer (Geizi) Tsafrir, says that Saada's killing was a deliberate provocation initiated by the pro-Syrian Palestinian terrorist organization Sai'qa, to place the blame on the Christians, thus leading to violence[40].

The fishermen's demonstration is considered the prelude to the war. On April 13th four Palestinian gunmen of Ahmed Jebril's PFLP-GC opened fire on Christians who were going to attend services at the Church of Notre Dame de la Deliverance in Beirut[41]. Among the Christians was Phalange leader Pierre Gemayel[42]. It resulted in the death of four Christian Phalanges. In retaliation, the Christians ambushed a Palestinian bus and shot fourteen passengers dead. Although PLO spokesmen claimed that those on the bus were civilians, Abdurchim Ahmad, a member of the ALF (Arab Liberation Front) in Amman, approved the original Christian version stating that all passengers aboard were armed ALF gunmen[43].

As a result of this incident, sporadic clashes occurred between Christian neighborhoods and Palestinian refugee camps. By mid-April more than ninety people were dead and over three hundred wounded. This type of clashing continued sporadically until the end of October 1975.

One of the first indicators of foreign intervention was when a group of local criminals called "The Third Force", set out to kidnap Christians. They were paid sixty Lebanese pounds per dead body by the Libyan and the Iraqi governments. This was done in order to increase the tensions between the Christian and Muslim communities in Beirut. It is believed that a sum of US $50 million was deposited by Libyan ruler Mouamar Kaddafi in local banks in order to encourage these anti-Christian activities[44]. During September 1975 Beirut's commercial zone was devastated. This laid the foundation for what would be later be known as the "Green Line". Beirut became a battle torn city, divided by road blocks creating forbidden zones of entry.

The Lebanese Army originally had 18,000 men including a small majority of Muslim soldiers, with two thirds of the officers and most of the battalion commanders Christians[45]. During the first stage of the fighting, Lebanese President Sulieman Farnjieh refused to involve the Lebanese army. On May 23rd he established martial rule in Lebanon that lasted only two days. On June 30th Muslim Prime Minister Rashid Karami managed to form a new government which achieved a short-lived cease fire. The fighting resumed towards the end of July 1975.

The First PLO-led Massacres against the Christians: May–September 1975

On May 20, 1975, dozens of Christians were killed by PLO gunmen from the Tel Zaatar refugee camp[46]. Muslim militants from Bashura pulled ten Christians out of their cars, dragged them to a nearby Muslim cemetery and executed them. Later that summer, the Carmelite monastery in Tripoli was looted and destroyed, while the Maronite Cathedral was damaged and many Christian stores were destroyed and burnt[47]. On September 1st, Palestinian guerrillas raided the Christian village of Beit Mellat killing many of its inhabitants and destroying most of the village[48]. On September 9thvillage of Deir-Ashash. Although most of Deir-Ashash villagers had fled, three priests who remained in the local monastery were brutally murdered[49]. Ironically, in the monastery was a school of 960 students, 660 of which were Muslims who attended at no cost[50]. On September 8th the Christian neighborhood of Zarata in Tripoli was destroyed. On September 11th Sai'qa returned to Beit Mellat and killed eight Christians and kidnapped dozens. On October 9th Sai'qa attacked the Christian village of Tall Abbas-Akkar killing twenty Christians and razing the local church[51]. On October 30th Palestinians and Syrians attacked and killed about fifteen people in the convent of Naameh, which in 1948 had given refuge to Palestinian refugees[52]. At the same time, Palestinians besieged the Christian village of Koubeyat killing and causing much destruction. In the Muslim village of Saed Neil local Muslim militants attacked and killed twenty Christians in the village of Tanyel[53]. they did the same to the nearby.

The Second Stage of the War: October-December 1975

The second stage of the war began with the joint attack of the Muslim Al Mourabition and the PFLP on the mixed district of Kantari defended by the Phalange. On the 24th of October the attackers seized the Rezaq (More) tower, a forty story building considered the tallest building in Beirut. The Christian seized the three major hotels in the city, The St.George, The Phoenicia, and the Holiday Inn. During the fighting, the Muslim forces entered Christian houses and killed forty civilians[54].

This new stage of fighting, known as The Battle of the Hotels, lasted several months. It concentrated on a small complex along the Beirut sea front. It was a strategic stronghold for the Christians, as many of their weapons came through Beirut's harbor[55]. The battle of the hotel district marked the transition from local sniping and shooting to massive tactical and strategic military maneuvering aimed at large territorial gains.

November 1975 was a relatively quiet month in the capital, and interior minister Camille Chamone set up a special police task force, named Task Force 16, responsible for taking out snipers. On December 6th, after four Christian Phalanges were ambushed and killed while driving by the Tel Zaatar Palestinian refugee camp, Phalange commander William Hawi ordered a reprisal attack. The day is known as The Black Sabbath, when more than 350 people were killed. In retaliation, the left wing Muslim organization Mourabiton shot thirty-eight Christians at road blocks[56].

__

(37] The Palestinian Refusal Front led by Dr. Habash broke off from the PLO on July 1974, after negating Yassir Arafat's "Stage Plan" which recommended eliminating Israel stage by stage", as being too moderate.

[38] Ibid, 21, Arnon, p. 45.

[39] Ibid, 30, O'Ballance, p. 4.

[40] See: Plonter: Shoter Tnua ba Svach ha Levanoni (Tel-Aviv: Yediot Achronot, 2006) pp. 42-43

(Hebrew).

[41] Ibid, 40, p. 42.

[42] Ibid, 30, O'Ballance. p. 1

[43] Ibid, 21, Arnon, p. 39.

[44] Ibid, 21, Arnon, p. 41.

[45] Ibid, 21, Arnon. p. 45.

[46]
http://www.gotc.org/black_page/chronology.htm p.1

[47] Ibid, 21, Arnon. p. 43.

[48] www.Lebaneseforces.com/blastfromthepast006.asp p.1

[49] Christian sources claim that some of the raiders in Deir Ashash were Syrian soldiers in disguise.

See: Ibid, 46, p. 2.

[50] Ibid, 48. p. 1.

[51] Ibid, 46. p. 2.

[52] Ibid, 46, p. 3.

[53] Ibid, 21, Arnon. p. 48.

[54] Ibid, 21, Arnon. P. 51.

[55] Ibid, 30, O'Ballance, p. 27.

[56] Ibid, 21, Arnon, p. 54.)

https://www.ict.org.il/Article/1036/PLO-Policy-towards-the-Christian-Community-during-the-Civil-War

Unconscionable Moral Equivalency - WSJ. Jan 10, 2006 — The PLO forces fled to Lebanon and helped trigger a civil war over there that led to more than 100,000 dead.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB113686590038342461

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