Gemayel warns against selling land to Hezbollah


MP Sami Gemayel who a key member of the Phalange party parliamentary bloc warned Thursday against selling land “arbitrarily” to the Shiite group Hezbollah in Mount Lebanon.

“Lands are being sold randomly in Aley and the Shouf region of Mount Lebanon , and we should confront the selling. Realtors are sowing money at the expense of our areas, history, identity, lands and martyrs,” Gemayel said during a Thursday meeting with the Phalange Party members.

“A crime is being committed against our history, towns and martyrs,” a press statement issued by the MP quoted him as saying.

As for the 2000 reconciliation between the Druze and Christians in Mount Lebanon, Gemayel , a Christian Maronite said that people who were forced to flee their homes during the Lebanese civil war (1975-1990) need more than financial compensation to return to their hometowns.

“The return will take place when the necessities of life are made available i.e. hospitals, universities, schools, entertainment and clubs; so that an individual can live in dignity without having to leave to Beirut,” the Christian MP said.

“What we are calling for is a true reconciliation that starts from the bottom up, because we need to regain coexistence in Mount Lebanon.” Gemayel added.

Last December the Iranian backed Hezbollah which does not disclose its sources of wealth was involved in perhaps the richest land deal in Lebanon’s history, a $240 million purchase of more than 740 pristine acres overlooking the Mediterranean in the religiously diverse Shouf region. The seller was a Christian jeweler, Robert Mouawad. The buyer, at least on paper, was a Shiite diamond dealer, Nazem Said Ahmad.

The deal fit a pattern, highly controversial in this religiously combustible land, in which entities tied to Hezbollah have been buying up militarily strategic pieces of property in largely Christian areas, helping the movement quietly fortify its geopolitical hegemony.

Now Lebanon/ Agencies