Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Start of the Latest Lebanese Civil War?

The Jerusalem Post reports that Pierre Gemayel was murdered in Lebanon.

Prominent anti-Syrian Christian politician Pierre Gemayel was assassinated in a suburb of Beirut on Tuesday, his party's radio station and Lebanon's official news agency reported.

His fatal shooting will certainly heighten the political tension in Lebanon, where Hizbullah's leading Muslim Shi'ite party has threatened to topple the government if it does not get a bigger say in Cabinet decision making.

Gemayel was rushed to a nearby hospital seriously wounded, the Lebanese Broadcasting Corp. and Voice of Lebanon, the Phalange Party's radio station, reported.

Witnesses said Gemayel was shot in his car in Jdeideh, a Christian neighborhood, his constituency on the northern edge of Beirut.
The party radio later said he was dead, as did the National News Agency.

Gemayel, the minister of industry and son of former President Amin Gemayel, was a member of the Phalange party and supporter of the anti-Syrian parliamentary majority, which has been locked in a power struggle with pro-Syrian factions led by Hizbullah.
If you remember recent Lebanese history you will recall that Bashir Gemayel, was assassinated in 1982. His death lead to the massacre of Palestinian and Lebanese civilians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps.

All that intensified a Lebanese civil war, going on since 1975, which then lead to Syria taking over Lebanon to "keep order".

Ever since Hizballah started a war with Israel this past summer, Lebanon has been in an unstable political state. This event could trigger another civil war in Lebanon.

Update: 21 Nov '06 2300z

Israel Matzav has some great analysis with links. He thinks that Syria is doing a coup. One cabinent minister at a time. A second cabinent minister was attacked today.

Update: 22 Nov '06 0327z

Michael Totten has more. The comments are especially good.

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