Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Nasrallah blames Israel for Hariri murder and promises to present evidence on Monday

Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on Tuesday accused Israel of the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri  and said he would  present evidence to that effect at a news conference next Monday. The promise to come with such evidence was the most important remark during his prescheduled speech, which was broadcasted via tv-screens in South-Beirut.
The speech was meant to mark the fourth anniversary of the 2006 war in Lebanon which ended on 14 August, and was held somewhat earlier because of the beginning of Ramadan next week.
Nasrallah's remarks about the killing of Hariri had to do with  the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) about the 2005 murder of Hariri, which is going to deliver its verdict soon. Nasrallah  said in a spress conference in July that he is aware of the fact that the STL will indict members of Hizbullah. According to Nasrallah this is unacceptable and he pointed at the fact that there are serious doubts about the trustworthiness of several witnesses. Also he made the point that the recent arrests of  several spies for Israel who were working int he telecom sector (which took place in the franmework of a wave of the dtection of more than 70 spy cases) casts serious doubts on the outcome of the STL, as telecom data played an important role in its findings. According to him the STL in this way was an instrument of Israel.
The probability that Hizbullah will be indicted in the Hariri case caused a new wave of tension in Lebabon. It was for that reason that king Abdallah of Saudi-Arabia together with president Assad of Syria payed  a  visit to Lebanon last weekend. The entente between the two leaders, of which the Saudi king is an ally of the Lebanese prime minister Hariri jr and the Syrian president has strong ties with Hizbullah, was an exercise to calm the emotions in Beirut, to save the cabinet of which Hizbullah is a member, and to block the way for a new outburst of armd onflict like in 2008. An exercise, by the way, that seems largely to have worked.
In his speech. Nasrallah again raised the point that the witnesses in the STL should be scrutinized a second time. But the main theme of his speech on this day of clashes between the Lebanese and Israeli armies was about the relations between the army and the 'resistance'.
Nasrallah praised the Lebanese army warmly for its efforts, but made clear that Hizbullah fighters had been ordered to stay out of the fighting. He told his audience that if Hizbollah would have participated some could have thought that it was an instument in the hands of president Assad who on Sunday warned for the possiblity of a new war, or that it  wanted to outshine the Lebanese army, or distract the attention from accusations in the STL. 'We were ready to fight and defend … but the wisdom, interest and loyalty meant that the resistance put itself at the disposal of the army which was dealing with the confrontation,” Nasrallah said. 'We informed the president that we will take no action and similarly informed the prime minister and the speaker,” he added.
Nasrallah made clear, however, that Hizbullah is ready for  future cooperation with the army to protect the country against Israeli threats. 'The army protects the resistance and the resistance protects the army; this is the formula that protects Lebanon,' Nasrallah said.

No comments: