News from Beirut January 6  1997  .......Search

South Lebanon Shaky ceasefire, Paris talks

The mounting violence in South Lebanon was of major topics discussed in Paris by Lebanon Prime minister and French P. Chirac. They held two hours session Saturday to discuss stalled Arab Israeli peace talks and last month's Friends of Lebanon forum in Washington. The 5 nations ceasefire monitoring committee is due to meet today following new year holiday at UNIFIL H.Q. at Naqoura following three days of  continuous air raids and ground confrontations.

Lebanon and Israel each filed two complaints to the committee over the x-mas holiday. Mr. Hariri is due to return back today after short visit to Saudi Arabia where he met king Fahd for an hour.

Lebanon-denounciation of the bus bombing

Lebanese politicians and dignitaries continued their condemnation of the bus bombing in Damascus last week. They accused Israel as the culprit and say it aim at obstructing peace process and weaken the Syrian position.

Patriarch Sfeir said on Sunday's sermon that what happened in Damascus is condemned , also what happened at Tabarja and what is daily taking place in South require caution and regret, and it urges us to be united and rally to stand for the challenge. The Patriarch questioned if the latest arrests and dragnet would lead to that unity.


Lebanese army command, in a apparent reaction to critics followed the arrests amid Tabarja incident, said there should be differentiation between,constructive critics and the critics aim at paralysing security giving the pretext of political, economical or social loopholes.

The command said the security treatment of the incident was inspired by the atmosphere of general caution, affirming that the Israeli enemy is seeking to undermine internal situation.

The command also said that security cannot be subject to confessional balance. The command carries orders of the political authority represented by the council of ministers . It affirmed that firm decision to prevent political personal interventions in army affair is definite. The army command said news about implications between army and political authority is merely media allegations.

Defense minister Mohsen Dalloul said Jan 5 the national security is as important as bread and there should be no accusations to security forces as if it is militias. Minister Dalloul said also that Damascus bus bombing was planned to take place in Beirut.


Lebanon Parliament speaker Nabih Berri said Jan 4 amid his return from Cairo, that Patriarch is not only for Maronites and he should act as Patriarch for all Lebanon. Mr Berri was referring to Patriarch remarks over latest security sweep.

Mr Berri is the second senior official who expresses anxiety of Patriarch remarks after P.Hrawi. Patriarch Sfeir ignored call of P. Hrawi to religious leaders to stay out of politics and continued his remarks on Sunday Jan 5 sermon.

President Hrawi has earlier called religious leaders to "mind their own business and render unto Ceasar that which is Ceasar's and unto God what belongs to God". On Saturday, Hizbullah Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, said there is nothing in this world that belongs to Ceasar and the whole universe belongs to God. Another shiite cleric Sheikh Abdel Amir Qabalan said earlier that the call aimed at preventing religion men from taking stands or giving guidance.

He said "if the politicians wish to avoid our wrath, let them correct their policies".  

Greek orthodox Archbishop Elias Awdeh has also said earlier no one can stop me speak about pain and sufferings.



Nejmeh/ Ansar, game ended 0-0 played Jan 5 in the most important match in Tripoli, unfortunately with no supporters on hand to cheer players due to a decision to bar public for security reasons. During first half neither one of the teams controlled the play with players wasting some valuable chances due to lack of concentration. Nejmeh midfield player M. Abu Oleywah gave brilliant display of skills during first half and kept colleagues well supplied with good passes.

During second half Nejmeh started a pressure , winning control of  midfield and on many attempts it looked extremely threatening. Now, Ansar remains at top of table with 48 points, followed by Nejmeh with 37 points with 11 marks margin.

- On Saturday's games, Homenmen beat Borj 2-0, Hikme beat Salam 3-1, and Racing and Akhaa drew 1-1.

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