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Bashir Gemayel

Bashir Gemayel.
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Bashir Gemayel.

Bashir Gemayel.
ZOOM - Open a large version of this image

Bashir Gemayel.
ZOOM - Open a large version of this image

(1947-1982) Lebanese politician and president-elect 1982.
Gemayel pursued his political goal of becoming president ruthlessly, having rivals assassinated or stripped of power through personal tactics. He was also the architect behind a covert tie with Israel. Underlying this tie was a major objective — ridding Lebanon of Palestinian (PLO) guerillas.
Gemayel was also a charismatic and strong leader, singlehandedly providing the real strength for the Phalange Party and bringing it to the forefront of Lebanon's political life.
Already as a military leader, he was a shrewd politician. He used the Lebanese Forces to provide for basic public services, in areas where the state services had disappeared: water, electricity, road maintenance, garbage collection, social relief as well as running 2 radio stations and a television station.
At his death in 1982 Gemayel left a wife, Solange, and 2 children.

1947 November 10: Born in Bikfayya (20 km east of Beirut), into a Maronite Christian family, as the youngest son of Pierre Gemayel and brother of Amin Gemayel.
1971: Graduates from St. Joseph University, Beirut, with a Bachelor's degree in Law and Political Science.
1972: Is appointed political director of the Ashrafiyya district of Beirut.
1975: Becomes an attorney after 3 years of legal internship.
April: With the outbreak of the Lebanese Civil War, Gemayel joins the Phalangist militia, fighting the PLO forces.
1976 July: After the death of the Commander-in-Chief of the Phalangist Military Council, Bashir is appointed as his follower.
August 30: Is appointed head of the unified command of the Lebanese Forces, a coalition of the Christian militias of the Phalange Party, the National Liberal Party, the Tanzim and the Guardians of the Cedars.
1977: Marries Solange Toutounji.
1978 June: Has Tony Franjieh killed, son of Lebanon's president 1970-76.
1980 February 23: His infant child, Maya, is killed in car bomb explosion intended for Gemayel.
July 7: The military alliance he leads is unified as the Lebanese Forces, and Gemayel becomes Commander-in-Chief.
December: Through the Lebanese Front, he takes initiative for a federal Lebanon.
1981 January: Becomes Chief of the Phalange Security Council, and member of the party's political bureau.
1982 June: Cooperates with Israeli troops stationed in the outskirts of Beirut.
August 23: Elected president, with 57 of 65 votes in the parliament. He starts preparing, conducting talks with Muslim and Christian leaders.
September 1: Meets with Menachim Begin, agrees to start diplomatic relations with Israel.
September 14: Bashir is killed by a bomb in the Phalangist headquarters in Ashrafiyya, Beirut, together with 26 others. This is only 8 days before he was supposed to be installed in office. It is later discovered that the bomb was placed at the headquarters by Syrian agents.

By Tore Kjeilen