Mustafa Fahs

The Dialectic of the Armed Struggle in Lebanon... Back to the Beginning

We go back to the beginning, to before 1982, that is, to the open war across the borders between Lebanon and occupied Palestine, for a complete review of an experience that all Lebanese people, especially southerners, have lived since the launch of the operations of the Palestinian resistance factions from South Lebanon to the Palestinian interior in 1965.
That is, the beginning of the Palestinian armed struggle, in line with a broad Arab condition that allowed the Palestinian factions to use the lands of the encircling states in their armed struggle to liberate Palestine from the river to the sea. These open Arab borders were soon confined to Lebanon, whose lands witnessed the development of the armed struggle movement after the Cairo agreement in 1969, the Jordan crisis of 1971, and the transfer of the leadership of the Palestinian resistance to Lebanon.
From the armed struggle to the unity of the battlefields, the Hamas movement returned to the point where the Fatah movement had left off in southern Lebanon, in harmony with its regional options that allowed it to position itself militarily in the South.
Rockets were once again launched from Lebanon’s southern areas towards the Israeli settlements in northern occupied Palestine, but with major differences in role and goals.
Hamas in Lebanon is under Lebanese auspices, meaning that it operates under the cover of Hezbollah and its clear regional options at the political and strategic levels. In the past, some of the Lebanese resistance factions, which are against Israeli occupation, especially after 1978, were part of the Palestinian armed action, which was also one of the parties to the civil war.
Palestinian weapons are returning to the South to operate in an arena that is united by a regional agenda. It’s a decision to open a support front from Lebanon, a front that did neither deter the Israeli occupation from stopping its genocide nor did it hinder the implementation of its plans for the systematic destruction of the Gaza Strip. Moreover, the front does not have any negotiating effect, and so far it is closer to a pre-emptive decision by those who opened it, for the sole reason to link the conflict in the future with the Israeli enemy.
For the forces of the “Unity of Squares Axis”, it is a battle of dignity, regardless of the human and material losses, even if it comes at the expense of its current nurturing environment, which is worried about the possibility of being dragged into a battle of open borders. This revives its memory of the difficult conditions that the South experienced during the armed struggle before 1982, which led to the displacement of its population for decades. The Lebanese are greatly concerned about the potential expansion of the conflict, and its transformation into an open war against Lebanon, meaning that post-Gaza Israel would implement its costly vision of UN Resolution 1701.
Most Lebanese agree on their right to defend their lands, but are also convinced that this matter should be solely in their hands.
This is their right after a bitter experience with the chaos of Palestinian weapons in southern Lebanon - which was protested by historical leaders who had a founding role in resistance work - and their suffering with the occupation until its withdrawal in 2000.
The Lebanese people have the right to ask why the squares are limited to the Lebanese soil, while there is a strategic arena within the axis that has been calm since 1973.
Back to the beginning, there is a consensus to support the just demands of the Palestinian people and unanimity over backing their resistance at home.
However, there is a sharp division over Palestinian action from Lebanon and its regional effects, matched by a Lebanese rejection to re-exploit Lebanon alone in this war with Israel.
Returning to the open front with the aim of resolving the conflict and retaining the right to clash with the enemy foreshadows an open confrontation that brings back to the memory the tragedy of the 1978 and 1982 wars. This is what all the Lebanese reject and want to avoid.