News from Beirut August 13 1997 ...Search

-The Lebanese Army Dragnet

-The Lebanese army units which now enforce decisions of the central security council continued to patrol the Baalbek area including armored patrols and military checkpoints at the outlets of Baalbek and Brital, hometown of sheikh Subhi Tufeili. News reports said the patrols were reported very close to residence of Tufeili for many times during the day but without any reaction. Some 300 gendarmeries force were deployed in the same areas but deep into the town of Baalbek and near villages. The state run national news agency said the gendarmerie force has raided some villages looking for wanted people and did arrest some people. According to press reports, the army units including the crack force first and third intervention units did not go deep into towns and villages and did not set checkpoints on the main roads. The internal security forces ISF is the one assigned to check and report on the illegal constructions. The general security force will be assigned to close all the unlicensed audio-visual stations. The Voice of Resistance which is under sheikh Subhi Tufeili and the Voice of the Oppressed run by Hizbullah were reported broadcasting yesterday and did not stop. In the meantime, the judicial warrant to security agencies to investigate and chase the persons who lately held rallies and called for disobedience, also who participated in organizing the rallies and made speeches, is enforced.

-Enforcement of the government measures including a massive deployment of the Lebanese army units and ISF at the southern suburbs of Beirut did not take place yet. News reports today said the military and security stationing there was ordinary as before. Some leading articles said the enforcement at the suburbs was postponed for a short time until files including evicting squatters at Maramel and other files are finished.

SLA Pull Back- Monitoring

-The news on the SLA pull back from some villages in Jezzine close to the frontline east of Sidon is still a major concern to the state officials. They continue to explore its background and motivation also importance and size of the move. The council of ministers will discuss the case at its tomorrow's meeting. The move will be also consulted with Damascus. According to some press reports the pull back was "tactical" or a "redeployment". These reports said the SLA's stationing in the area was minor and only of considerable size at the hill of Saidoun where some ten tanks and armored vehicles were deployed. News agencies said around 30 SLA men backed by some tanks were deployed at Saidoun which overlooks the Hizbullah stronghold Iqlim Toffah.

-Israel and SLA lessened the importance of the move saying it is a routine move. Prime minister Rafik Hariri and the House speaker Nabih Berri contacted the US ambassador Richard Jones to ask him to inquire the move. This evening Premier Hariri said Mr. Jones did not yet answer back. President Elias Hrawi said there is no fear of any security vacuum in Jezzine area amid the reported SLA pull back. He said the deployment of the Lebanese army in the area is definite and without any other force. He also said that this deployment will not be immediate in order to avert falling in an Israeli trap because the situation there is delicate. The cabinet meeting today at the government house at Sanayeh under premier Hariri did not discuss the case. Minister and Mp Nadim Salem who is from Jezzine said some residents in the area have evacuated to escape possible repercussions. The Prime minister said the information on the pull back was not definite. Hizbullah today said it is coordinating with the army in order to avert falling into an Israeli scheme that may aim to provoke a strife between the two parties. The government sources said the pull back from Saidoun is merely an Israeli attempt to stir an internal disturbance and "a serious withdrawal is not from one hill to another higher hill and from one post to another more overlooking post".

-The five nation ceasefire monitoring committee meeting that lasted for four days and was the longest marathon meeting ever ended today at 4.00 p.m. The committee at last condemned Israel and considered it responsible of the military operations that harmed civilians. Heads of the Lebanese and Syrian delegations persisted on the condemnation of Israel. The committee also condemned the katyusha rocketing at north Israel and those who were behind it.

House Speaker and Prime Minister Addresses to Immigrant Youths

-House speaker Nabih Berri speaking to the Lebanese immigrant youths yesterday outlined his viewpoints on various issues. He said he frankly is against the way the authority is dealing with the opposition MP Najah Wakim. He said Wakim has used inadequate words against some state officials but this point should be dealt with in a democratic way. He said there is an attempt to resist him with nondemocratic ways, but in the final run democracy will prevail, that is by applying the law and not through another violation. Berri said the political authority is trying to torpedo the law on this issue by not referring to the parliament. He reiterated his confession that the audio-visual media was monopolized by some officials including himself. He said the attempt to apply the audio-visual media's law was partially successful and "we have runaway from granting licenses of television and radio stations to specialists, and granted instead licenses to the non specialists, that is to the religious clerics". He praised the government role in the reconstruction and infrastructure projects but said there were mistakes. He said that nobody can deny what was accomplished and what will be accomplished in the future. He hinted to the unfair distribution of reconstruction and development, especially not giving enough focus to the rural areas in Baalbek and Akkar, also the security zone. Berri admitted embezzlement and waste of public money but said that should be resisted by applying the law. He said the first issue the parliament will deal with at its ordinary coming session is to adopt the new scales of rank and salary. He said the external debts will affect the country and there should be cautious in this context, but we should continue the reconstruction project . Mr. Berri said it is to Lebanon's interest to coordinate with Syria. He said the opposition outside Lebanon should return back and oppose from inside also work for the development of the system.


-Prime minister Hariri received minister Walid Jumblat and his key aides Akram Shehayeb and Marwan Hamadeh. They discussed political, environmental and displaced affairs. Jumblat said they agreed to a new mechanism to finance the return of the displaced, under the personal supervision of Mr. Hariri, with a new plan of priorities, after enough funds are now ensured. Jumblat briefed Hariri on his talks with the acting sheikh Akl Bahjat Ghaith and Hariri briefed him the outcome of his talks with president Assad.

-The declaration of Yasser Arafat that has claimed the two suiciders who were responsible of the bombing in Jerusalem came from Lebanon is still a row in Lebanon. The PLO and Arafat aides are trying to put cosmetics on his words and consider it a mistake . Head of the PLO political department Farouk Kaddoumi from Tunisia told Lebanese dailies that "it was not intended to offend Lebanon and interpretation of the declaration was aimed to provoke and disturb the bilateral relation.”

-Patriarch Sfair received spouse of Samir Geagea and a delegation from Bcherri who expressed their thanks to H.E's participation in the funeral of her father. The patriarch speaking to employees of the media stations recently closed said that the media should be available to all people. He said he is with reorganizing the media but according to a law that is applied on all parties. Among the visitors of Patriarch Sfair the Jordanian ambassador who conveyed a verbal message from King Hussein expressing his admiration to the patriarch's national role and efforts to deal with the Lebanese and Arabic cases.

-Kesrouan MP Rshayd el Khazen at a press conference yesterday revealed he received pledges from the prime minister to respond to demands of the region. Khazen said if the pledges are not met he will seek to change the government but not the system.

-Around 2,700 young Lebanese girls and boys aged between 18 and 35 are to leave to France on 17 air flights to participate in the sixth world's day for youths scheduled between 18th and 24th of August. They came from 30 different churches in Lebanon and will be joining the estimated one million participants .

Portemilio Suite Hotel   The Luxurious Hotel in the heart of Kaslik, Jounieh, Lebanon

   ........Minkara Center  Coming Soon !

email us for more details ...

More news from International Agencies

[ Weekly Business Reports ]

Back to Local News Wire

© 1995-1997 Interactive- USA ,
All Rights Reserved.

For any comments or questions please e-mail