Born in 1977, around two years after the eruption of Lebanon’s civil war, Kataeb MP Elias Hankash says it is difficult for him to forget the sound of explosions and shells and the scenes of people running towards shelters.
“If there is anything that we must have learned from this war is not to repeat it, because no one is prepared for their children to live what we went through,” he told Asharq Al-Awsat as Lebanon marks on Tuesday the anniversary of the eruption of the conflict.
According to Hankash, the Kataeb party “played a fundamental role in defending Lebanon and its land, and in confronting the plots targeting the Lebanese.”
“I have the honor of belonging to a party that did not raise its weapon in the war against any Lebanese, because we fought our main battles against the Palestinians and the Syrians who were undermining this country’s dignity and sovereignty,” he emphasized.
Asked about the main reason for the outbreak of the war, Hankash said: “It was the lack of awareness at the time by the Lebanese, who sympathized and expressed solidarity with strangers against their fellow countrymen.”
He stressed that the failure to adopt neutrality and some parties’ commitment to foreign agendas will keep the country open to various security risks.
“What reassures us that this war will not be repeated, is the awareness of the Lebanese people not to fall into this trap again. This was manifested in its most beautiful form during the uprising of October 17, 2019,” he underlined.
On whether he believed that there were parties inside Lebanon pushing towards war again, Hankash said: “I don’t know whether some sides have an interest in pushing for a war. What we hope for is that those who are affiliated with foreign powers would not implement agendas that seek sedition in Lebanon.”
He continued: “A war needs two parties. In Lebanon, only one side is armed and capable of waging a war, without neglecting the Palestinians’ weapons that need to be controlled exactly as Hezbollah’s.”
“Nevertheless, I think that everyone believes that war is a loss for all parties, and I do not see the factors that would ignite it,” the MP told Asharq Al-Awsat.