Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Syrian Border Patrol Shoots Lebanese Farmer

  • Syrian border patrol shot at a Lebanese farmer in the eastern region of Zamrani near the frontier between the two countries, the National News Agency reported Monday.
  • "Mohammed al-Hujairi from the village of Irsal suffered four gunshot wounds while planting trees along with several farmers in the region of Zamrani that is five kilometers deep into Lebanese territory," the NNA said.
  • Al-Hujairi, 45, was taken to Dar el-Hikmeh hospital in Baalbeck where he was admitted to the intensive care unit.
  • The village's mayor, Mohammed Hassan al-Hujairi, said Syrian border patrol members shot at the farmer.
  • "They are erecting sand barriers that are preventing villagers from reaching their land," he said.
    A similar shooting in October resulted in the death of a Lebanese farmer at the same location.
    The border between Lebanon and Syria has been ill-defined since the countries became independent from French rule in 1943.
  • Anti-Syrian politicians in Lebanon have demanded the demarcation of the border as a condition for repairing relations that have been strained since the assassination in February 2005 of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Syria has denied the accusations.(Naharnet-AP)

Anton Efendi points out -

  • Needless to say, this is hardly the first time this kind of thing has happened, and it comes in a long list of offenses, such as the smuggling of arms to pro-Syrian thugs inside Lebanon. But just imagine had this happened on the border with Israel instead. What statement and/or action would this have drawn from Hezbollah's Hasan Nasrallah who keeps ranting about the need to maintain his party's arsenal in order to "protect Lebanon" from "Israeli aggression"?
  • Every time an Israeli plane flies overhead, or an Israeli bulldozer crosses the Blue Line, Lebanon submits a complaint to the UN (that is when Hezbollah does not launch attacks). I'd like to see Nasrallah lead the effort now, you know, to protect Lebanon's sovereignty and the security of its citizens (the man was shot 5 kilometers inside Lebanon) from the acts of aggression coming from the east and north, not the south.
  • But then again, what's a few killings among "brothers" (could we please finally dispense with this pre-modern, kinship terminology when it comes to inter-state relations, especially when these two states are Syria and Lebanon)? We have to worry about the "real" aggression. Of course! What was I thinking?


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