It is two years since the right-wing attack on a busload of Palestinians triggered the bloody Lebanese civil war.
It is two years since the right-wing attack on a busload of Palestinians triggered the bloody Lebanese civil war. And on Thursday (14 April) two blasts ripped apart a Christian-owned boutique in Ain-Al-Rummaneh where the attack took place, apparently to coincide with the anniversary. Meanwhile, the southern front in Lebanon is relatively peaceful.
Battle fronts in Lebanon's sensitive South were quiet on the anniversary as Left-wing Palestinian forces and their right-wing adversaries appeared to observe an undeclared ceasefire. The Left-wing Palestinian offensive led to the capture of this town of Taybeh and another strategic town Khyam, near the Israeli frontier a week earlier.
Palestinian Organisation leader Yasser Arafat issued instructions on Sunday (10 April) to forces of the alliance to stop an offensive against right wing strongholds near the Israeli border which led to the capture of the two towns. Mr. Arafat's order was given after talks in Damascus with President Hafez Al-Assad of Syria. Commanders of the Left-wing Palestinian troops said they had come under artillery fire from positions inside Israel but they had not replied to the bombardment, adhering to Mr. Arafat's orders.
The relaxed atmosphere in the area and lack of military action contrasted sharply with Israel's statement on Tuesday (12 April) that it would not tolerate what it called a continued Palestinian offensive in south Lebanon and a "massacre" of Christians in border villages.
In east Beirut, the situation was not so peaceful. Two explosions ripped apart a men's clothes shop in Ain-Al-Rummaneh, the Christian district where militiamen of the right-wing Falangist Party ambushed a bus carrying Palestinians, two years ago. The explosions led to a rise in tension in the area where troops of a 30,000-strong Arab league peace force, made up mainly of Syrian soldiers, ended the fighting last November. Officers of the peace front declined to estimate the size of the bombs but said they must have been very big.