28 July 1953|
Rmaich – Qadaa of Bint Jbeil
|Died||12 December 2007
|Service/branch||Lebanese Armed Forces|
|Years of service||1972–2007|
François al-Hajj (Arabic: اللواء فرنسوا الحاج; Arabic pronunciation: [franswaː al-haːʤ], 28 July 1953 – 12 December 2007) was a Lebanese major general. He was assassinated by a car bomb on 12 December 2007.
Early life and education
Al Hajj fought against the Israeli occupation in South Lebanon and was then transferred to head positions north of the Litani during the 1980s. From 1988 to 1989 he fought, under the leadership of Prime Minister General Aoun, against Syrian forces assaulting the “free zones” of West Beirut during the Lebanese Civil War, he also battled the Lebanese Forces militia. In addition, General Hajj, led the Lebanese Army operation in Dinnieh in 2000. He gained recognition as a brilliant commander during the 15-week operation against Fatah al-Islam in Nahr al-Bared camp northern Lebanon during Summer 2007. He was second in command in the Lebanese army and would have been a contender to replace General Sleiman in the event the latter was elected president. . Hajj was promoted to the rank of major general after his killing.
On 12 December 2007, Hajj was assassinated through a car bomb blast in the Christian suburb of Baabda in Beirut. Four other people, including his bodyguard, also died in the attack. A BMW that contained 35 kilograms of TNT was exploded while Hajj's car drove by. The bomb was triggered by remote control.
Honors and medals
General Francois Hajj received the following honors and medals:
- Medal of War
- Order of the Wounded
- National Cedar Medal of Honor
- Lebanese Order of Merit (3rd degree)
- Order of National Unity
- Order of the Dawn of the South
- Lebanese Order of Merit (1st class)
- National Cedar Medal
- Medal of Loyalty
- Cedar Medal of National Honor
- Commended by the Army Commander over 24 times.
- Ghattas, Sam F. (12 December 2007). "Car bomb kills top Lebanese general". Associated Press.
- اللواء الركن الشهيد فـرنسوا الياس الحاج (in Arabic). Lebanese Army. Retrieved 30 December 2008.
- "François al-Hajj assassinated". NOW Lebanon. 12 December 2007. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
- "Lebanese General El Haj Killed in Car Bomb Attack". Bloomberg. 12 December 2007. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
- Dakroub, Hussein (14 December 2007). "Lebanon bids farewell to army general slain in car bombing". China Post. AP. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
- William Harris (19 July 2012). Lebanon: A History, 600-2011. Oxford University Press. p. 267. ISBN 978-0-19-518111-1. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
- "Hajj latest casualty in string of assassinations". The Daily Star. 13 December 2007. Retrieved 20 March 2013.
- Bathish, Hani M. (13 December 2007). "Senior Lebanese Army general assassinated". The Daily Star. Retrieved 21 March 2013.