This morning, three katyusha rockets were launched from close to Naqura (UNIFIL’s HQ) in southern Lebanon and landed near Nahariyah a few kilometers over the border. Two people were ‘slightly injured’ and others ‘in shock’. No doubt somebody’s dog was wounded too. We will soon see it spread all over CNN and BBC… Israel, totally in character, responded by blindly firing a bunch of mortars into ‘the western sector of southern Lebanon’. With surgical pinpoint precision and the utmost respect for the civilian population, no doubt… To assume that this was a Hezbollah attack is ridiculous beyond belief, both because of the amateurish material used and because of the political restraints placed on Hezbollah by the internal Lebanese situation. Most likely this was the work of some Palestinian faction or other, whether Fatah al-Islam, Jund ash-Sham, Usbat al-Ansar or even Fatah. A few weeks ago, some days before the Gaza massacres began, the Lebanese army defused some rockets directed at Israel and timed to take off on the Thursday morning before the infamous Saturday start of the Israeli onslaught, if memory serves me right.
Interestingly, a new shia resistance organisation has just announced its launch in Lebanon. It is led by Sayyed Mohammad Ali Husseini, a shia imam who leads the Arab Islamic Council and is in conflict with Khamenei and Hezbollah. He claims to have some 3000 mujahidin at his disposal and promises ‘a “lot of surprises,” particularly on the subject of weapons, uncovering what he called “Arabism rocket” which is made by the resistance. He described the invention as “distinct.”‘ Note the stress on Arab as opposed to a Lebanese identity. In other interviews the man has positioned himself as anti-Iranian, even going so far as to accuse the Revolutionary Guards to have made an attempt on his life (links to a pdf document). Could there possibly be a relationship, one wonders, between today’s announcement of the launch of the Arab Islamic Resistance, and the simultaneous launch of katyushas into Israel? Could Husseini see this as his opportunity to carve out a position next to the Islamic Resistance in Lebanon (ie Hezbollah) which has so far (been) restrained from opening a second front with Israel? And could he inadvertently be doing Hezbollah a favour by opening hostilities in a way that takes the blame for the inevitably resulting Israeli atrocities away from Hezbollah? Or could Hezbollah be using Husseini’s organisation (or some islamist Palestinian faction for that matter) to provide a provocation to Israel? Or could this just be another CIA-sponsored initiative to fight Hezbollah: ‘According to (Husseini), many Arab states and mainly the Gulf countries have been supporting his bid to challenge Hizbullah (and Amal)’s monopoly on the Shiite politics (in the upcoming Lebanese parliamentary elections)’? In which case, get ready for another blowback. Or could doctor in theology Samir Geagea be right (just this once) in suggesting the PFLP-GC (ie Syria) was behind the rockets? So many questions, so few answers… Keep watching this spot, we’ll keep you updated.