The Kataeb party on Saturday mourned the death of the party’s first Deputy-President Joseph Abu Khalil, hailing him as the its first fighter in the path towards independence.
The 94-year old politburo member’s departure signifies “the turning of entire pages on the party’s struggle and resistance, whether alongside the Kataeb founder to achieve Lebanon’s first independence, or alongside the current party chief in his journey of opposition,” the party paid tribute on its website page.
Joseph Abu Khalil had held various high offices within the party over the years. He was one of the founders of the Voice of Lebanon radio station in 1958, then editor-in-chief of the daily Kataeb al-Amal during the Lebanese civil war which was launched in 1975. He was regularly referred to as the “spiritual son” of the party’s founder, Pierre Gemayel, and worked as a close advisor to former President Bachir Gemayel.
In February, Abu Khalil had been re-elected to his post at the party's general assembly.