Hezbollah Rejects Israeli War Threats

Marchers in London in July 2006 during the Israeli attack on Lebanon demand a boycott of the Israeli state
Marchers in London in July 2006 during the Israeli attack on Lebanon demand a boycott of the Israeli state

Hezbollah TV on Sunday commented on contradictory statements coming out of Israel on a possible new war against Lebanon.

The TV said: ‘Israel is heading toward a “new confrontation” with Hezbollah in South Lebanon, an Israeli minister claimed on Saturday. . .

‘A few hours later, a top Israeli military commander denied reports of another imminent round of fighting with Lebanon and said such reports constitute a “virtual escalation with no basis in reality”. . .

‘Two “contradictory” statements were issued by Israeli officials in less than 24 hours, reflecting the fact that Israelis seem to be “perplexed” and “undecided” or even “unaware” of what’s happening, at the time the “Moghniyyeh ghost” returns to the Israeli scene on the eve of his martyrdom’s second anniversary.

(This is in reference to the Islamic Resistance top commander martyr Imad Moghniyyeh).

‘So, on Sunday, Major General Gadi Eizenkot of the northern command told Israeli media at a conference in Tel Aviv that there were no rising tensions with Hezbollah along the Lebanon border a day after an Israeli minister warned of a new war.

‘Reports of another imminent round of fighting represent a “virtual escalation” with no basis in reality, Eizenkot claimed.

‘Eizenkot said: “Hezbollah hasn’t executed an attack since the Second Lebanon War.’

‘ “But Hezbollah is getting stronger and we are preparing for all options in order to be able to act effectively,” he added.

‘His remarks came the day after Yossi Peled, a minister without portfolio, said Israel was heading toward a “new confrontation” with the group.

‘Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu sought to dispel tensions following Peled’s remarks by issuing a statement stressing that “Israel does not wish at all” to have a confrontation with Lebanon.

‘The Zionist entity seeks “peace with Lebanon and with all its neighbours,” the statement added.

‘Eizenkot said that despite the calm the Lebanese group had doubled its arsenal of rockets since the war and warned that the Israeli response to any attack would be “disproportionate”.’

Meanwhile, in a Friday statement, Hezbollah slammed French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner’s statements regarding Israel following his meeting with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Thursday.

Kouchner reportedly stated that Lebanon’s problem is with Hezbollah and not Israel, because the resistance group ‘could launch an attack against Israel to appease Iran.’

‘If there was a threat to Lebanon, it will only come from a military adventure carried out by Hezbollah in the best interest of Iran,’ Kouchner claimed.

Hezbollah added that Kouchner’s positions oppose United Nations reports on Israeli violations.

Also, the statement said that the French FM is covering for Israeli aggressions and that his positions contradict France’s past resistance to occupations.

Hezbollah said Kouchner was an accomplice to Israel and supporting the country in its aggression against Lebanon.

The statement called on the French authorities to be more responsible since they pretend to care about Lebanon’s sovereignty.

Tehran also moved to reject Kouchner’s accusations that it might try to fuel insecurity in southern Lebanon because of an ‘internal crisis.’

Kouchner made the accusation that Iran might try to use Hezbollah to create a conflict with Israel.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry condemned the ‘interfering’ remarks.

‘Kouchner has apparently made the comments under the influence of Israelis,’ Ramin Mehman-Parast, a spokesman for the ministry, said.

He said such ‘unwise’ approaches by the French would not meet the interests of the national unity government in Lebanon and would solely feed Israeli agenda.

‘It is clear to all that the Zionist regime is the root cause of threats and occupation. It attacks innocent people . . . every day and deprives them of their basic rights,’ he said.

For his part, Progressive Socialist Party (PSP) leader MP Walid Jumblatt said in an interview on Saturday that he disagrees with Kouchner’s statement that Iran might export its internal crisis to Lebanon by inciting Hezbollah to wage war against Israel.

The PSP head said Hezbollah’s arsenal is the key guarantee for confronting a possible Israeli attack – particularly, according to Jumblatt, after US President Barak Obama’s recent comments on the difficulty of achieving a Middle East peace settlement.

Jumblatt said the Lebanese have agreed on principles, of which the national defence strategy is the most important.

‘More than ever, we believe the defence strategy is in place to fight any aggression,’ he added.

• A solidarity sit-in staged by Lebanese and Palestinian leftist organisations in front of the Egyptian embassy in Beirut on Saturday ended up in clashes between the participants and the security forces tasked with protecting the embassy.

Before the clashes, the participants made statements calling for halting the construction of the steel wall and opening the crossing points with the Gaza Strip.

The sit-in which was staged by the People’s Movement, the Lebanese Communist Party, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, in front of the Egyptian embassy in Beirut to protest against the construction of the steel wall.

The participants in the sit-in shouted slogans denouncing the construction of the steel wall and calling for lifting the siege.

A young man identified as Kamil Safa read a statement on behalf of the People’s Movement, saying: ‘The People’s Movement, which believes in the unity of the Arab nation, considers that extending help to the Palestinian people is not a gift so much as a defence of our nation in front of an enemy that targets us all.’

The protesters called on the Arab peoples to apply pressure on their governments in order to persuade Egypt to halt the construction of the steel wall and to open the crossing points with the Gaza Strip.