Sayed Abbas Al Mosawi was an influential Lebanese Shiite cleric, co-founder and Secretary General of the Hezbollah resistance movement. He was assassinated by the Zionist regime of Israel on Feb. 26 in 1992. On the occasion of his martyrdom anniversary, Sondoss Al Asaad has penned a piece for the Tasnim News Agency:
Sayed Abbas Al Mosawi, one of the major founders of Hezbollah movement in Lebanon and the former Secretary General of Hezbollah, witnessed the cruelty of his time. He felt the pain and experienced the agony of the Lebanese and other oppressed nations. Al Mosawi perceived the tragedy of the people of Palestine since he was young and participated actively to remove the two brotherly peoples’ occupation nightmare; the Palestinians and the Lebanese.
Sayed Abbas Al Mosawi was an influential Lebanese Shiite cleric, co-founder and Secretary General of Hezbollah. He was born into a Lebanese family, in the village of Al-Nabi-Sheath in the Beqaa Valley, in 1952. He studied theology in Iraq and was deeply influenced by the views of the two influential Shiite clerics, philosophers and political leaders of his time; Imam Khomeini and Sayed Mohammad Baqir al-Sadr. During his stay in Iraq, he witnessed the anguish of the Iraqi people, who patiently tolerated the oppression of their rulers. Sayed al-Sadr repeatedly said about him, ‘Sayed Abbas is a precious part of me’.
In 1978, Sayed Al Mosawi returned to Lebanon with the determination to fight the Zionist occupation and oppression. Besides, in April 1980, Sayed Mohammed Baker al-Sadr was assassinated, which increased the fortitude of Sayed Al Mosawi. He spearheaded the formation of Hezbollah movement in 1982, along with other revolutionary figures and clerics. Later, Imam Khomeini sent representatives to Lebanon to mobilize people against the Zionist regime and the international tyrannical powers. From 1983 to 1985, he is reported to have served as operational head of the Hezbollah Special Security Apparatus. In 1985, he resided, in a modest house, in the city of Tyre, in the Lebanese-South, after assuming the responsibility of the consultative council of Hezbollah. Sayed Al Mosawi was resolute to conquer the Israeli entity, proclaiming that it is not the legend that cannot be defeated.
He headed to the Lebanese-South, in spite of the Zionist invasion, to preach the teachings of Imam Khomeini, which emphasize the elimination of Israel. He met Sheikh Ragheb Harb, a Shiite cleric and resistance leader, and he passed on to him Imam Khomeini’s religious order (Takleaf Shara’aie). Imam Khomeini’s order stated that fighting Israel, everywhere and by all possible means, is everyone’s obligation. Sheikh Ragheb Harb’s response was, ‘Our stance is resistance, for the reconciliation with the enemy is disgraceful.’
In 1991, Hezbollah movement had entered a crucial era with the end of both the Iran–Iraq War and Lebanese Civil War, and the Taif Agreement. A new leader was thought to be needed to boost Hezbollah’s focus on resistance activity against Israel. Sayed Al Mosawi intensified Hezbollah’s military, political and popular action. Sayed Al Mosawi was elected as Secretary General of Hezbollah in May 1991, for nine months, before his martyrdom. Nevertheless, he established significant social, national, political, educational and informational advances.
Sayed Abbas Al Mosawi was greatly concerned about the affairs of all Muslim and vulnerable peoples, predominantly the oppressed people of Palestine, Algeria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Kashmir. He was affectionate with those peoples and was fearless in expressing his firm stances. Further, he participated in many Islamic conferences, festivals, and political, social and cultural meetings, in Damascus, Tehran, and Islamabad. He sought unity among Muslims in the world, and he established relations with various prominent revolutionary leaders.
The Palestinian revolution was an important aspect of Sayed Abbas Al Mosawi’s life; he lived the wounds of Palestine and the sufferings of its people. At the age of ten, he joined several military training camps along with the Palestinian rebels. He was wounded in one of the military operations that made him even more attached to his sacrificial ambitions. After Imam Khomeini’s call to commemorate Al Quds Day, Sayed Al Mosawi pioneered many demonstrations in solidarity with Al Quds.
On 21 March 1990, the Jaafari Jurisprudence Implementation Movement, in Islamabad, invited Sayed Abbas Al Mosawi to an Islamic international conference on Kashmir. His Eminence was at the head of Hezbollah’s delegation in which he asserted that Muslims, everywhere, must decide their fate, be free and not be subjected to any pressure or a global arrogance. Regardless of the dangers that accompanied the visit, Sayed Al Mosawi emphasized that the struggle with the arrogant powers is long and bitter and the price of blood is dear.
After attending the conference, Sayed Al Mosawi visited Kashmir and inspected the immigrant camps in Muzaffarabad. He met a group of Kashmiri combatants (Mujahedeen) and urged them to follow the path of Allah; the path of Jihad. He told them, ‘we are under your service, we stand beside you.’ Additionally, he sent a radio message to the combatants, in which he pledged to support their cause, which is the cause of Islam, and asked them to stay firm in their positions, saying, ‘As long as you are with God you are strong. As long as you rely on Him, you will be victorious.’ Sayed Al Mosawi also went to Afghanistan and met the revolutionaries, urging them to unite to achieve their goals and emphasizing the choice of resistance (jihad); the path of truth and victory.
Sayed Al Mosawi was a remarkable spiritual hero of strong principles and he faithfully believed that the next world’s privileges are the outcome of this life. He used to frequently recite this supplication, “My Lord! If You insist on treating me with Your justice and holding me accountable for the misdeeds committed with every one of my organs, I demand that You grant me a purified martyrdom. A martyrdom that I personally choose as an atonement for my sins; a martyrdom with rare equals, with which my body is shredded and every one of my organs receives the punishment and penalty it deserves. A martyrdom which, my Lord, becomes definite that You inhabit me near You and near your saints. I say definite because of my belief in Your justice and not to mention my belief in Your kindness.”
Eventually, Sayed Abbas Al Mosawi was granted his wish on 16 February 1992, when the Israeli Apache helicopters fired missiles at his motorcade in the Lebanese-South. The attack targeted him, his wife, his five-year-old son, and four guards. Immediately, Israel admitted that the assassination had been planned to retaliate the kidnapping and death of missing Israeli technicians in 1986, and the abduction of the UN peacekeeping officer William R. Higgins, in 1988.
According to reports, two Israeli helicopters descended on a seven-vehicle convoy carrying Sayed Al Mosawi after he delivered a speech during the annual commemoration marking the martyrdom of Sheikh Ragheb Harb, who had also been assassinated by the Israelis, on 16 February 1984.At the rally, in the southern Lebanese village of Jibchit, Sayed Al Mosawi denounced the Arab-Israeli peace talks and accused the United States of being power mad. He stressed that America wants to control the fountains of water, exactly as it controlled the oil fountains.
From Israel’s vantage point, the assassination was a settling of old scores for countless raids on its soldiers in Lebanon. Hezbollah issued a statement in Beirut calling the attack a vengeful and cowardly assault. Immediately, Sayed Hassan Nasrallah succeeded Sayed Al Mosawi as Secretary General of Hezbollah.
Uzi Benziman, the chief political correspondent of Ha’aretz, reported that the assassination of Sayed Al Mosawi was pre-scheduled several months earlier and that Israel had awaited the suitable opportunity to carry it out. He added that the apparent Israeli reason for promptly admitting responsibility was to demonstrate to the Lebanese how firmly the United States supports everything Israeli occupation does in Lebanon.
Ehud Barak, former Israeli chief of staff, convinced the then Israeli Prime Minister Shamir to order the assassination. Ran Edelist, a colonel in charge of Israeli troops in the security zone, at that time, said, ‘Hezbollah men know what they are doing. They have superb military intelligence and are good in planning. They do not knock their heads against the wall. They do not attack right where the Israeli or South Lebanese troops are stationed in force, but study the area and prepare their actions carefully. They operate in cells, they know what field and communications security mean, and their explosive charges are nasty and murderous. Their fighters are local inhabitants. One cannot attack Hezbollah bases because none exist.’
The martyrdom of Sayed Abbas Al Mosawi was a conspiracy attempted at putting an end to his courageous actions, a conspiracy that backfired against it. His followers continued and are still continuing their struggle against the imperialist and Zionist powers. Sayed Al Mosawi’s legacy and martyrdom promoted thousands of courageous soldiers to heroically fight and scarifice their lives for the sake of their cause. He led a short life, 39-years-old, full of piety and bravery manifested in most of his tendencies, approaches, and attitudes. Sayed Al Mosawi was aware of the tyrannous powers’ conspiracies and resistance was his ultimate approach to withstand oppression.
Sondoss Al Asaad is a Lebanese Bahraini freelance writer and translator; based in Beirut, Lebanon. Al Asaad writes on issues of the Arabs and Muslim world, with special focus on the Bahraini uprising.