They said gunmen opened fire as his convoy drove through the Christian Sin el-Fil neighbourhood. Gemayel was rushed to hospital where he later died of his wounds.
Lebanon is in the throes of a political storm pitting the anti-Syrian ruling majority against the pro-Damascus opposition. The political tension threatens to spill into street confrontations.
Lebanon’s Prime Minister Fouad Siniora said on Tuesday his depleted cabinet was legitimate despite the resignation of six pro-Syrian ministers, and warned that any anti-government protests could turn violent.
Pro-Syrian Hezbollah and its allies are preparing to take to the streets to topple Siniora’s government, which they accuse of being allied with the United States, arguing that it has lost its legitimacy since Shi’ite Muslims are no longer represented.
The depleted cabinet last week approved draft U.N. statutes for a tribunal to try the killers of ex-premier Rafik al-Hariri despite the resignation of six pro-Syrian ministers.
Many Lebanese blame Syria for the killing of Hariri in a suicide truck bombing last year. Damascus denies involvement. A U.N. commission investigating the assassination has implicated senior Lebanese and Syrian security officials."
This man was a fairly insignificant minister in Fouad Siniora’s anti-Syrian cabinet. His main significance is that his uncle Bashir was briefly president of Lebanon (assassinated), his father was president of Lebanon, and his grandfather, another Pierre, was founder of the semi-fascist "Phalange Party" of Lebanon. That made this Pierre a great target as a symbol.
For decades, it has been a great parlor and coffee house game in Lebanon to speculate as to who killed the uncle. Everyone has a theory. None of them are conclusive and many start with the neocon epistemological device of saying "Well, it must have been…"
The Greater Middle East is moving along on its own course, spurred on by the goad of Bush Administration interventions in its business.
– Syria and Iraq have resumed diplomatic relations. George Bush said he would be a uniter and not a divider. Here is the proof. (irony)
– Syria, Iraq and Iran are holding a "seance" this weekend to discuss how to quiet down Iraq. Bless them! (more irony). This represents yet another step in the consolidation of Iranian strength in the GME and Iraq. More "uniting!"
– I am told that Pierre Gemayel was not killed by the Aoun/Shia bloc, but rather by those who wish to delay disintegration of the present political system in Lebanon. In other words, this was a "provocation" intended to get the masses out into the streets where noise will overwhelm negotiation. (no irony at all) This may seem fanciful to many, but that really means that you do not know Lebanon.