“Christian and Hezbollah Clash: Ahmad Kassas and Fadi Bejjani Dead”

By | August 10, 2023

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Lebanon is facing a dangerous situation after clashes between Christian villagers and members of Hezbollah resulted in two deaths. The incident has raised tensions between Hezbollah and Christian groups in the country. The head of the Christian Kataeb Party warned that Lebanon has reached a “point of no return” and called for action against armed militias. The Free Patriotic Movement also expressed concern about the deteriorating state of Lebanon. Hezbollah has accused the Christians involved in the clashes of helping Israel. By TZVI JOFFRE reported

The leader of the Christian Kataeb Party issued a warning on Thursday, stating that Lebanon has reached a critical point from which there is no turning back. This comes after a clash between Christian villagers and members of Hezbollah in a village south of Beirut resulted in the deaths of a Hezbollah member and a Christian resident. The clash was sparked by an overturned truck belonging to Hezbollah, which was carrying ammunition. The Lebanese Army intervened to calm the situation and transport the munitions to a military center. Hezbollah claimed that the truck was attacked by “militias present in the area,” leading to their response. Funerals for the victims have been scheduled. This incident, the most deadly clash between Hezbollah and Christians since clashes in Beirut in 2021, has heightened tensions between the two groups in Lebanon.

The head of the Kataeb Party, Samy Gemayel, expressed concern about the situation, stating that Lebanon is facing a dangerous predicament that cannot continue. He made reference to the Lebanese Civil War, which occurred from 1975 to 1990 and involved various Christian, Shi’ite, Sunni, and Palestinian militias. The Kataeb Party played a significant role in the civil war as part of the Lebanese Forces, which opposed Shi’ite and Palestinian movements in the country. Gemayel emphasized that the Lebanese people are resilient and will not accept living without freedom and dignity. He warned against the consequences of armed conflict and announced that practical steps, opposition meetings, and decisions will be taken to address the presence of armed militias in Lebanon.

The incident in Kahaleh has also drawn attention from the Free Patriotic Movement, led by Gebran Bassil, which warned of the imminent danger facing a deteriorating state and society. They attributed the incident to shortcomings from either Hezbollah or the security forces. The Free Patriotic Movement has previously been aligned with Hezbollah but has grown distant due to the current crises in Lebanon. They recently joined other Christian parties in supporting a presidential candidate opposed to Hezbollah’s preferred candidate.

Former Lebanese president Michel Suleiman criticized Hezbollah, stating that the group does not regard the army and the people represented by the state as equals. He noted that Hezbollah expects support for its actions without coordination with the relevant authorities. Hezbollah-affiliated individuals have accused the Christians involved in the clashes of aiding Israel, either intentionally or unintentionally. They linked the incident to a recent visit by Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant to the Lebanese border. Hezbollah-linked media outlets have accused Lebanese groups opposed to Hezbollah of playing with fire that could ignite a civil war.

In addition to the clash in Kahaleh, an investigation has been launched into the death of Elias al-Hasrouni, a former coordinator for the Christian Lebanese Forces party in Ain Ebel. Initially believed to be an accident, the Lebanese Forces and Kataeb party have claimed that he was kidnapped and murdered. The mayor of the town and the head of the Lebanese Forces have called on security forces to swiftly identify the perpetrators, warning of the potential consequences of the attack..

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