India Intelligence Report

 

 

   Hezbollah Show of Force

  Heightening the political deadlock, the pro-Syrian Hezbollah led massive demonstrations outside government offices demanding the government's dissolution accusing it of "corrupt" leadership but Lebanon's west-backed cabinet vowed not to give in.
 

 

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Heightening the political deadlock, the pro-Syrian Hezbollah led massive demonstrations outside government offices demanding the government's dissolution accusing it of "corrupt" leadership but Lebanon's west-backed cabinet vowed not to give in. Acknowledging the near-paralysis of the government by these protests, Prime Minister Fuad Siniora, bolstered by strong support from Western and friendly neighborhood governments, rejected these accusations.

The Hezbollah has been threatening protests if the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri to an international tribunal. Ever since the Cabinet approved such a measure to try suspects, Hizbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri issued a statement on Friday reiterating Hizbollah's demand for representation by it and its allies in the Government that would give it effective veto power over Government decisions.

Following the rejection of this demand, six pro-Hezbollah Ministers resigned soon followed through with the assassination of a Christian Cabinet member by suspected Hezbollah operatives. Lebanon's pro-Syrian President Emile Lahoud, has expressed reservations on the intention to get international community involved in a political assassination as "unconstitutional" and has therefore fuelled political tensions. The anti-Syrian parliamentary majority accused the President of seeking to block the tribunal. In a letter to the UN Secretary General Kofi Anna, Syria has already said that it may not cooperate with the planned tribunal because it was not consulted on the plan.

This polarization of politics in Lebanon had prompted Jordan King Abdullah to warn of an impending civil war.