|Posted on December 30, 2013 at 8:15 AM|
Words of commiseration lose their meaning when scourges turn into a monthly - sometimes weekly - bread. Tears of sorrow dry when targeted killings cripple furthermore the aggressor yet fail to intimidate the breeze of revolution. In fact, death could rejuvenate hope, resuscitate purposefulness and perseverance, and provide the right momentum to attain the long-awaited change. After all, who said that death means defeat?
Beirut, 30 December 2013
On Friday, 27 December 2013, Mohammad Chatah and his mini convoy were en route towards Bayt Al-Wasat in Downtown Beirut to attend a meeting summoned by "14 March" camp to discuss one of the many deadlocks of Lebanese politics: the formation of a cabinet and the run-up for presidential elections. Meanwhile, a group of youngsters, including Mohammad Al-Shaar, were taking a walk down the streets of Beirut's commercial centre, stoping here and there for some photos.
Few minutes later, a bomb fixed onto a golden CRV Honda went ablaze nearby the former minister of finance and advisor to Saad Hariri on international affairs' vehicle. The heavyweight explosion threw both Monammad Chatah and Mohammad Al-Shaar's bodies tens of meters away, re-embracing the ground with no sign of life. Martyr Chatah died immediately while the young martyr Al-Shaar slipped into a coma to surrender to death hours later.
Mohammad Chatah was titled the "Martyr of Moderation", a humble token given for a man of state of such a caliber. Yet, Mohammad Al-Chaar rose as the "Martyr of Martyrs". Since 1921, civilians have lost their lives due to this vicious circle of political assassinations. Their mistake was to be present in the wrong place at the wrong time.
This time, we will refrain from featuring another synthesis inspired by an nth uncivilised tragedy rocking the cradle of civilisations. Below is a list of those killed insofar on Lebanese soil for expressing their views with no constraints and for prioritising Lebanon over their own personal safety. Unfortunately, the many civilian martyrs, whose names were written in blood on that long unaccomplished path towards the true statehood, remain unrecorded.
06 August 1921, Fouad Jumblat, a Druze eminent figure and director of Chouf district, was assassinated by the Arslan family.
17 July 1951, Riyad Al-Solh, the first prime minister after the declaration of independent Lebanon, was gunned by members of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party at Marka Airport in Amman, Jordan.
13 October 1958, Waheed Al-Solh, a reputed politician at that time and close aid for Sami Al-Solh, was assassinated for still unclear motives.
06 March 1975, Maarouf Saad, the founder of the Popular Nasserite Organisation, was shot down by a sniper while participating in a demonstration carried by fishermen against Protien enterprise in Sidon.
16 March 1977, Kamal Jumblat, the renowned Druze leader and founder of the Progressive Socialist Party, was shot down as his car was passing nearby Baaklin. In 2006, his son, Walid Jumblat, claimed, during an interview broadcasted on LBC channel, being certain that the Syrian regime masterminded the tagged assassination.
13 June 1978, the Lebanese parliamentarian Antoine (a.k.a Tony) Frangieh was killed by a commandos unit, which infiltrated into his house in Zgharta.
04 March 1980, Salim Al-Lawzi was announced dead in captivity. The designated journalist and publisher was kidnapped two weeks earlier - 25 February - while driving through the Airport Road and was subject to severe torture.
On July 1980, Riad Taha, the president of the Lebanese Publishers Association, fell dead when unknown armed men opened fire at his car in Beirut.
27 April 1982, Sheikh Ahmad Assaf, a Sunni cleric, was assassinated in Beirut.
01 May 1982, Father Philipe Abu Suleiman was shot down by Syrian soldiers in Aley.
14 September 1982, Bachir Gemayel, the newly elected president, was found dead after an explosive device detonated at the Phalange headquarters in Achrafieh. Habib Al-Chartouni, a member of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party, was arrested at a later stage and indicted for the bombing.
16 February 1984, Sheikh Ragheb Harb, a Shiite cleric and leader of resistance against Israeli occupation in Lebanon, was killed in Jabal Amel after the Mosad had recruited Danny Abdallah to execute this operation. Danny Abdallah partook in the kidnapping of Sheikh Abd-al-Karim Obeid, Sheikh Ragheb's successor.
07 October 1986, Sheikh Sobhi Saleh, the head of the Islamic Shiite Higher Council, was shot dead in Beirut.
01 June 1987, Prime Minister Rashid Karami was on board a helicopter transporting him from Tripoli to Beirut when a sticky bomb detonated.
02 August 1987, Mohammad Choucair, the special advisor to former Lebanese president Amin Gemayel, was shot down inside his own house in West Beirut.
16 May 1989, the Grand Mufti of Lebanon and head of the Islamic Coalition, Sheikh Hassan Khaled, was assassinated when a 136 KG vehicle-borne improvised explosive device detonated next to his car in Beirut.
21 September 1989, the parliamentary Nazem Al-Qadri was gunned in his car in West Beirut.
22 November 1989, Rene Mouawad, the first Lebanese president after the Taif Accord, was assassinated via a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device that blew up as his convoy passed by Verdun area in Beirut.
21 October 1990, a commandos unit invaded the house of the head of the National Liberal Party, Dani Chamoun, in Baabda. Only his daughter, Tamara, and the maid managed to survive.
16 February 1992, Abbas Al-Mousawi, the co-founder and former secretary general of Hezbollah, was assassinated in South Lebanon when an Israeli Apache helicopter fired a missile targeting his vehicle.
24 January 2002, the parliamentarian and ex-Phalange / Lebanese Forces senior commander, Elie Hobeika, was targeted by a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device in Hazmiyyeh.
20 May 2002, Mohammad Jihad Ahmad Jibril, the son of Ahmad Jibril - founder of Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine/General Command, was assassinated via a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device that blew in Mar Elias, Beirut.
20 May 2002, Ramzi Irani, a Lebanese Forces representative, was found dead in the rear of his vehicle after being kidnapped off Hamra Street in the capital Beirut.
01 October 2004, the Lebanese parliamentarian Marwan Hmadeh escaped an assassination attempt, via a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device, in Beirut. Mr. Hmadeh's failed assassination attempt stamped the beginning of a series of political assassinations that seem never to end.
14 February 2005, the parliamentarian and former prime minister, Rafik Hariri, was passing nearby the Saint George in Beirut when a massive explosion took place generating horrendous damages in public and private properties and a big tally of casualties. His companion, parliament member Basil Flueihan, suffered severe burns which resulted in his death at a later stage.
02 June 2005, Samir Kassir, one of the most reputed Lebanese journalists, was killed by a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device that detonated nearby his house in Achrafieh.
21 June 2005, Georges Hawi, the former secretary general of the Communist Party in Lebanon, was assassinated via a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device in Beirut. Martyr Hawi once commented that the Lebanese people deserve all the inflicted hardships as long as they do not revolt against intimidation and oppression.
12 July 2005, Elias El-Murr, the Lebanese Minister of Defence at that time, escaped an assassination attempt when a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device boomed as he was passing in Antelias. He was severely wounded.
15 September 2005, Ali Ramez Tohme, a journalist and president of Dar Al-Haitham for journalism, escaped a sticky-bomb attached to his vehicle in Mazboud area.
25 September 2005, May Chidiac, a well known journalist and television anchor, escaped an assassination attempt in Jounieh but lost her left leg and left arm. Mrs. Chidiac endured several surgical operations in Lebanon and France. On 03 February 2009, she announced her retirement from media circles but continued being active on socio-political levels.
12 December 2005, the head of Al-Nahar and parliamentarian Gibran Tueini was assassinated in a blast that targeted his vehicle at Mkalles. Martyr Tueini was in self exile in Paris after being informed that his name is on the top of a hit-list. He returned to Lebanon less than 24 hours prior to his extermination.
05 September 2006, Lieutenant Colonel Samir Chehadeh was killed via a remote-controlled bomb when his car was passing Rmeileh village, south of the capital Beirut. The martyred lieutenant colonel was among a team of officials investigating the murder of prime minister Rafik Hariri.
21 November 2006, the Lebanese minister of industry and Phalange Party leader, Pierre Gemayel, was driving a camouflaged Honda CRV vehicle when he was attacked at close range by gunmen bearing silenced automatic weapons in Jdeideh. This assassination was described as a brazen compared to previous vehicle-borne improvised explosive device's targeted killing methodology.
13 June 2007, the Lebanese parliamentarian Walid Eido and his son, Khaled, were assassinated via a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device nearby Al-Riyadi stadium in Beirut.
19 September 2007, the Lebanese parliamentarian and Phalange figure, Antoine Ghanem, was targeted via a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device nearby his residence in Horsh Tabet.
12 December 2007, Major General Francois El-Hajj, the second in command in the Lebanese army, was assassinated via 35 KG of TNT sticked to a BMW, which detonated as his convoy passed by Baabda area.
25 January 2008, Captain Wissam Eid, an investigative officer at the General Security Directorate following up on the recent assassinations, was assassinated via 75 KG of TNT, which detonated as his car passed by Hazmieh area.
12 February 2008, Imad Moughniyeh (a.k.a Hajj Radwan), a high profile member of Hezbollah and the party's military and security apparatus, was assassinated via a bomb sticked to his Mitsubishi Pajero in Damascus, Syria.
10 September 2008, Saleh Al-Aridi, the co-founder of the Lebanese Democratic Party, was assassinated via a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device parked next to his house in Baysour.
23 March 2009, Kamal Naji (a.k.a Kamal Medhat), the deputy representative of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation, was assassinated via a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device at Kitaf Al-Musallah checkpoint in Mieh Mieh Camp, Sidon.
19 December 2012, Brigadier General Wissam Al-Hassan, the Lebanese senior Internal Security Forces and head of its intelligence information branch, was assassinated via a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device that detonated nearby a clandestine apartment he rented in Achrafieh.
27 December 2013, Mohamad Chatah, ex Minister of Finance and advisor to Saad Hariri on international affairs, was assassinated via a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device while on his way to attend a meeting at Bayt Al-Wasat in Downtown Beirut.
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