Ahmed Jibril’s "Naameh" Tunnels of Deceit

By: Elias Bejjani

June 7/2006


The Lebanese people are hopeful that their Leaders who are scheduled to meet in Beirut on June the 8th in a new  "National Dialogue" session to make the  tragic dilemma of  "Al Naameh" coastal town a priority.


I do not know if the leaders and other officials of my homeland, Lebanon, really appreciate the dangers of Ahmed Jibril’s tunnels (Head of PFLP-Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine)  and his organization in the town of Naameh 10 miles south of Beirut. These tunnels, which are dug, against any law and common sense, under the houses of a significant number of resident families of this embattled hostage town. These Lebanese people, who are afflicted with their State, their leaders and the rogue sisterly country, Baathist Syria, live in houses knowing that foreign military forces live beneath them in tunnels that are in fact deadly weapons caches, rockets, missiles and the like!!


I knew for years that there are in Naameh underground tunnels belonging to a Palestinian military base affiliated with the Baathist group of Ahmed Jibril. But it never occurred to me that the tunnels are present under the houses of the town’s civilian folks.


When I saw last week’s LBC’s report on this tragedy and listened to the complaints of the town people after they were bombarded by the Israelis, I could not believe what I saw and heard. I tried to convince myself that I was watching a science fiction movie that has nothing to do with reality. I was literally stunned and saddened. I immediately called a few friends and acquaintances inside Lebanon and abroad, people from the area of "Naameh", and they corroborated the information uncovered by the infamous report.


Not to return to the years of the war of others on Lebanon's soil to designate those responsible for this crime, but the moral, humane, and national responsibility includes every Lebanese and non-Lebanese official who agreed to allowing these tunnels stand, or cooperated with those who dug them, or remained silent on the fact of their existence to this date.


Today, to remain silent or complacent out of fear or in weakness, like it used to before the eviction of the Syrian occupation (2005), is no longer acceptable. What is required is for the leaders of the country in all their colors and creeds to imagine that under their palaces – their fortified fortresses – there exist tunnels like those in Naameh.  What is required is for every conscientious person of the Lebanese people, to any faction they may belong, to put themselves in the shoes of Naameh’s people, and then act according to the spirit of the Intifada and rejectionism.


How is it possible that all Lebanon agrees that the folks of a peaceful town like Naameh live on top of powder kegs that no one knows when they will explode to destroy all that sits atop them: houses, children, men, women, elderly and the young.


This is an absolutely abject neglect of the rights, citizenship, security and dignity of the people of Naameh. They are the only ones to be helplessly chained over the powder kegs of  Ahmad Jibril and  Bachar Assad. Shame on this base and cowardly silence over the truth of the reality that these people are living. They are hostages in their own country, their own town, and their own houses. They live the terror, the fear, and the distress around the clock. This silence and this neglect are not the values of the Country of the Cedars, nor are they of the good manners and ethics of the Great People of Lebanon.


Shame and a million shame that this scandalous, shocking and inhumane situation persists, even for one more day, especially since a decision has been taken on unanimously on the matter at the national dialogue. The matter has also been dealt with internationally for a while now, is covered by Security Council Resolutions (UN 1559), and is widely supported by the Arab world. What is more important is that it is supported by the Palestinian Authority that truly represents the Palestinian people.


Let the national army, with all its equipment and men return to the town of Naameh its Lebanese identity and its vigor, and to its embattled people their security and peace of mind, tranquility and peace.


Yes, the army is capable to undertake this mission, and it certainly won’t hesitate a moment in carrying out its duty of protecting the sacred freedom of its own people and defend every grain of sand of our country from the boots of the occupiers and the outlaws, no matter the pretexts, the motives or the justifications.


Let Naameh be the first step on the road of self-emancipation after liberation, provided it is followed by the required measures to spread the authority of the legitimate State and the law – with its own armed forces – over the entire Lebanese stage, and limit the weapons – all the weapons – to those armed forces and no one else.


We salute our people in Naameh who, in spite of all the harassment and the attacks by friends and foes alike, remained in their houses and refused to leave. Your faith and hope are stronger and sharper than any weapon or any armed element other than those who fly the Lebanese cedar. Remember that whoever has right on his side will always win. The end the tunnel – and Naameh’ tunnels of deceit – is near.


Elias Bejjani
Human Rights activist, journalist & political commentator.
Spokesman for the Canadian Lebanese Human Rights Federation (CLHRF)
Media Chairman for the Canadian Lebanese Coordinating Council (LCCC)
Web Site http://www.10452lccc.com