Gemayel hints Hezbollah behind Ain Ebel and US embassy incidents
Kataeb Party chief Sami Gemayel on Thursday hinted that Hezbollah was behind an alleged security incident near the southern town of Ain Ebel and a shooting attack on the U.S. Embassy in Awkar.
“From Ain Ebel to Awkar, yesterday witnessed two dangerous incidents that reveal an intention for escalation on the ground by those who are destroying the republic,” Gemayel said in a post on the X platform, in an apparent reference to Hezbollah.
“Checkpoints, ID checks and shootings at embassies -- scenes that the Lebanese want to eradicate through building a state that has authority,” Gemayel added.
“Beware of the repetition of such incidents, seeing as they will not be in anyone’s interest, especially their perpetrators,” the Kataeb leader warned.
At least five bullets hit a wall next to the U.S. Embassy entrance when a gunman opened fire overnight from a Kalashnikov assault rifle. Media reports said the black-clad, unidentified attacker used a motorcycle in the assault.
Separately, media reports said masked gunmen had erected a checkpoint on Wednesday morning between the southern towns of Ain Ebel and Bint Jbeil, allegedly forcing passersby from Ain Ebel to return to the town.
“At least two cars were turned back and their passengers, who are employees, told residents through WhatsApp groups about the presence of an armed checkpoint, warning them not to head to Bint Jbeil,” the reports said.
In remarks to al-Akhbar newspaper, security sources said two young men likely erected the checkpoint in response to “stopping five young men from Aita al-Shaab and beating them up in Ain Ebel on the night of September 11 at the hands of four young men who carried out ID checks.”
Ain Ebel and the neighboring areas have been witnessing tensions ever since veteran Lebanese Forces member Elias Hasrouni was abducted and killed, with the LF pointing the finger at Hezbollah.