Hezbollah fighters

HEAD of Hezbollah’s Executive Council, Sayyed Hashem Safieddine, has lashed out at Saudi claims that the Lebanese Resistance movement ‘risks Arab national security’.

Speaking at an event in Lebanon on Sunday, Safieddine ‘wondered’ if the national security of the Gulf states is the ‘same as that of the United States and the Zionist entity’s’ (Israel).
‘We’ve heard weird remarks by Gulf officials that “Hezbollah risks Arab national security”.
‘We know that the US and “Israel” also say that Hezbollah risks their national security. They have exposed themselves.’
He warned that any attempt ‘to strip Lebanon of its resistance identity is an uncalculated adventure,’ and all such schemes will be foiled.
He also hit back at all those who attack the Resistance by blaming it for Lebanon’s economic crisis.
‘They know that their masters are the ones who created the economic crisis in Lebanon.’
On Saturday, at a ceremony to mark the second anniversary of the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Suleimani, member of Hezbollah’s Central Council, Sheikh Nabil Qawook, called on the Lebanese authorities to defend the country’s national sovereignty and stop a number of ‘ambassadors’ intervening in internal Lebanese affairs.
On January 3rd 2020, Suleimani and the former deputy chief of Iraq’s Popular Mobilisation Forces, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis were both killed in a US drone attack on their convoy outside Baghdad airport.
Accusing Hezbollah of being an Iranian proxy and raising the slogan ‘Iranian Occupation’ only indicates political bankruptcy he stressed.
‘Hezbollah has always emerged victorious over all the challenges for the last 40 years,’ Sheikh Qawwok said while ‘all those praised by “Israel” have nothing to do with national dignity.’
Earlier, Deputy Head of Hezbollah Executive Council, Sheikh Ali Daamoush, had stressed that the United States does not want to help any solution in Lebanon, warning it will keep pressuring the Lebanese till the parliamentary elections.
Delivering his Friday Sermon, Sheikh Daamoush pointed out that the US has not allowed Egypt and Jordan to provide Lebanon with electricity and gas – exposing the false promises of the US ambassador in this regard.
And he noted that it was Saudi Arabia, just before its war on Yemen, that had attacked the Resistance movement in remarks by King Salman’s describing Hezbollah as ‘terrorist’ – exactly the same position as Israel – representing an aggression on a large section of the Lebanese people.
Sheikh Daamoush pointed out that those Lebanese parties which praised the Saudi verbal abuse against this section of the Lebanese people – who made heavy sacrifices – have offended their own nation when they should have boldly defended their dignity and sovereignty.
Last Thursday, Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem had stressed that the Party will respond to Saudi Arabia in a resolute manner, saying: ‘If you return, we will return’.
Sheikh Qassem reiterated that Hezbollah is a resistance movement and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a terrorist state.
‘The Resistance Party will never let any Saudi insult go unanswered’ he said, adding that Hezbollah will respond to every Saudi offense regardless of the results.
Locally, Sheikh Qassem indicated that Hezbollah will support all its allies, including the Free Patriotic Movement, in the upcoming parliamentary elections, and the Party’s relation with the Amal Movement is strategic.
Meanwhile, Lebanese President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, on Monday asserted the importance of a dialogue meeting he’s called for, and stressed it must ‘transcend simple political differences’.
‘The political dispute should not lead us to a national dispute over fundamental and basic principles such as identity and existence, which may threaten Lebanon’s unity, its sovereignty and independence,’ he said.
In addition, President Aoun hoped to support these meetings: ‘Because dialogue concerns all of us, and its goal is not to achieve a partisan or personal interest.
‘The homeland is for all, and development and prosperity are for all as well, and we must cooperate to preserve this common life in the shadow of peace and security’.
President Aoun’s remarks were made in a meeting with Sheikh Al-Aql of the Unitarian Druze sect, and Sheikh Dr Sami Abi Al-Muna, head of the delegation.
The meeting came as most Lebanese schools were scheduled to reopen on Monday as the Health Ministry registered 4,780 new coronavirus infections and 16 related deaths.
Education Minister Abbas Al-Halabi announced late Sunday that the schools would reopen on Monday as planned earlier by the ministry in a bid to save the academic year, stressing the importance of abiding by health protocols by both students and teachers.
Earlier on Sunday, the Health Ministry announced that 4,620 new infections were recorded among local residents, while the other 160 cases were imported, putting the total infections nationwide since February 2020 at 774,180.
In its daily report, the ministry said that sixteen new fatalities had been registered over the past 24 hours, raising the nationwide death toll to 9,283.
694 coronavirus patients have been hospitalised in the last 24 hours, including 361 in Intensive Care Units (ICUs), 67 of whom are on ventilators.
The health ministry’s report added that 46,338 PCR tests were conducted during the past 24 hours, adding that the number of cases of recovery from the coronavirus rose to 674,076.
According to the report, 18 new coronavirus-related death cases were registered, which raised toll to 9,250.
Lebanon has continued the anti-coronavirus vaccination campaign across all provinces as the batches of vaccines are scheduled to arrive in Beirut gradually.

  • A human rights group has voiced concern over the unknown fate of dozens of victims of enforced disappearance in Saudi Arabia, saying the kingdom is in a dark era under the rule of the infamous Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.

‘The Saudi authority still ignores international condemnations and warnings and continues its repressive and arbitrary policy against the people of the country, in an effort to take away their freedom of opinion and expression,’ Saudi Leaks cited the Sanad Rights Foundation as saying on Sunday.
The Foundation noted that enforced disappearance is just one of the ‘brutal repressive’ methods adopted by Riyadh against prisoners of conscience, describing it as a ‘black feature’ of the era of Mohammed bin Salman (aka MBS), the de facto ruler of the kingdom.
According to the rights group, Turki al-Jasser, Saud bin Ghosn, Ahmed al-Muzaini, Jabir a-Amri, and Abdulrahman al-Sadhan are among the prominent victims of the enforced disappearance of persons launched by Saudi authorities.
It condemned Riyadh for hiding the prisoners of conscience in violation of legal provisions, urging the Saudi regime to ‘review its policies and reveal the fate of the innocent victims’.
Reporters Without Borders says Saudi Arabia is among the five countries with the highest number of journalists and media professionals behind the bars.
Last September, the group noted that the Saudi authorities have detained hundreds of scholars, preachers, thinkers, researchers, writers, journalists, and activists since the first campaign of arrests that took place in September 2017.
Sanad denounced the regime for turning a blind eye to the danger of the targeting of prominent people who could play a role in the kingdom’s progress.
Salman al-Ouda, Muhammad Musa al-Sharif, Awad al-Qarni, Hassan al-Maliki, Muhammad al-Munajjid, and Essam al-Zamel were among other prominent figures detained in September 2017.
The group also noted that female activists have become a target of the ‘brutal repression and enforced disappearance,’ adding that there are more than ten women whose fate is unknown, including Halimah al-Hewety, Sara al-Jabri, and Mona al-Byali.
‘The Saudi authorities refrain from revealing the situation of prisoners of conscience for fear of the exposure of the crimes of psychological and physical torture that are being carried out against them,’ Sanad said in September, condemning the ‘criminals who enjoy impunity’.
Ever since Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman became Saudi Arabia’s de facto leader in 2017, the kingdom has ramped up arrests of activists, bloggers, intellectuals, and others perceived as political opponents, showing almost zero tolerance for dissent even in the face of international condemnations of the crackdown.
Muslim scholars have been executed and women’s rights campaigners have been put behind bars and tortured as freedoms of expression, association, and belief continue to be denied.