Almost 30 Years After Fleeing to Israel, Wife of S. Lebanon Army Officer Still Lacks ‘Basic Rights’

Although those, who have been collaborating with israel against Hezbollah and Palestinian militants have received recognition from the Jewish state, Miriam Matar’s case has fallen through the cracks; Israeli authorities say she has no right to citizenship.

Even though the civil war in Lebanon was over in 1990, its aftertaste lingered in the air for years, causing political turbulence and economic instability.

At the time, the economy was fragile, even though the Rafic Hariri government did try to implement a number of measures that aimed at boosting it.

Clashes, bombings and assassinations became a rather regular occurrence at the time, especially in the south of the country, where the Shiite militia group Hezbollah launched effective attacks on its rivals, the South Lebanon Army (SLA), comprised of local Christians, Druze and other minorities, who have also been known for their support of Israel. 

No Regrets

Looking back at those events, Miriam Matar, a native of South Lebanon, who is now in her 80s, says she was concerned about the route her country was taking and she wanted to flee the area before it would be “too late”.

In 1995, it finally happened. 

In retrospect, she says, that was “the right decision,” especially as five years down the line, the SLA was defeated and then dismantled. Its operatives were either killed, jailed or persecuted. Only 6,000 fighters and their families were given permission to relocate to israel as a humanitarian gesture for their years…

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