‘Rice cannot impose a buffer zone or a security zone on the Lebanon’

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HASAN Fadlallah, the Lebanese MP for Bint Jubayl, which has been completely destroyed by Israeli bombing, and a leader of the Hezbollah bloc, has condemned the role of US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in developing and extending the war on the Lebanon.

Fadlallah, speaking last Monday evening. said that Rice who ‘leads the political war and has the leverage to reach a cease-fire’ and ‘halt the aggression’ was not satisfied with what took place at Qana; namely, ‘the killing of the Lebanese children.’

He condemned the new ‘opportunity’ given to the Israeli forces to ‘destroy the vital infrastructure’ without hitting the resistance.

He said that these actions aimed at imposing ‘US conditions’.

He added that ‘Rice cannot determine for Lebanon what Lebanon can do on its land. She cannot impose a buffer zone or a security zone, as she puts it. We want all of Lebanon to be secure. The Israeli army and the United States are the ones who are transgressing on Lebanon’.

He went on to say that the decision on who could extend the control of the state and how it would be carried out was in the hands of the Lebanese government and the Lebanese people.

He stated that what Rice had said was an ‘attempt to modify some political conditions’ that essentially called for ‘dismantling Hezbollah, disarming it and pushing it away from the border area.

‘All these conditions which started at the first days of the aggression started to corrode and whither away, and the only reason for this is the steadfastness of the resistance on the line of fire in confronting the Israeli army; the steadfastness of the Lebanese people despite the many massacres and pains which they face; as well as the steadfastness of the political stand and the great national unity which was embodied yesterday through the adherence of the state, the people and the resistance to one stand; namely, ending the aggression’.

He went on to say: ‘What we have heard from Mrs Rice sounds exactly like what the Israeli war minister says or what the Israeli premier says. There is no difference between the Israeli stance and the US stance.

‘Therefore, we are still holding to our basic and essential stance without changing it.

‘This stance is ending the aggression. After that, we could discuss some other points. There are some issues to do with Lebanese sovereignty.

‘The Lebanese state and government determine the issues of who will be on the borders and who will be on the Blue Line.

‘As I heard Rice, she is now talking about the Lebanese police. Yesterday, they were talking about the Lebanese army. Sometimes they talk about an international stabilisation forces. All these points are not for discussion now.

‘They are not on our agenda. What is on our agenda is only one thing: Steadfastness, standing up to the Israeli occupation and ending the Israeli aggression.

‘Regarding what took place in Qana, the United States has not condemned this massacre.’ He concluded by saying that the Israeli media might condemn the Qana ‘massacre’, but Rice cannot do that.

The Lebanese Foreign Minister Fawzi Sallukh, also commented on the statements of Secretary of State Rice.

Asked about his opinion on Rice’s statement with regard to connecting a cease-fire with the ability of the Lebanese army to be deployed on the border, he said: ‘What Mrs Secretary of State has said is not something new, because she previously said it to us in the talks which were held when she visited us last week.

‘All of Lebanon – government, people and parliament – is committed to the decision which was made. This is what we ask for; namely; an immediate cease-fire.

‘The Security Council has to shoulder its responsibility and pass a decisive and abiding decision on an immediate cease-fire, and then we can discuss all of the outstanding issues.’

He went on to say that ‘the political approach, which calls for an unconditional and immediate cease-fire comes before the military approach’.

Asked if Rice is trying to hold on to the military approach despite the Qana ‘massacre’, he said: ‘Yes, this is not accepted, because it looks as if Mrs Rice is giving Israeli Prime Minister Olmert, who asked for extra time of 10-15 days, a chance to complete his mission which is to burn down Lebanon.’

He added: ‘We will not accept any proposal or decision before an immediate and comprehensive cease-fire is achieved.’ He went on to add: ‘Safe corridors exist only in their imagination. Any truck that carries food, medicine or humanitarian aid from one place to another will come under Israeli bombardment under the pretext that it carries rockets.’

Doctor Husayn al-Hajj Hasan, representative of Hezbollah in the Lebanese parliament also commented on the Rice statements and the Israeli statements that there will be no cease-fire before the deployment of international forces on the borders.

Hasan said: ‘It is very clear that Condoleezza Rice, not Ehud Olmert or Amir Peretz, is the one who leads the battle.

‘Condoleezza Rice is the decision-maker. What did she say in the wake of the Qana massacre? She said: Such incidents take place during wars.

‘She did not talk about a cease-fire. Now, the Americans and Israelis return to their initial conditions.’

Husayn al-Hajj Hasan noted that ‘America and Israel are on one side and the entire world, led by Lebanon – government, parliament, people, and parties – is on the opposite side.’

He also says: ‘It is an American war against Lebanon and the Lebanese.’ He says: ‘Yesterday, we heard many statements by Americans and Israelis. Ehud Olmert asks for 10-14 days to complete his war and achieve his objectives. Bolton exerted pressure on the Security Council to obstruct any Security Council resolution that condemns the Qana massacre.

‘No resolution was issued. Instead, a weak presidency statement that does not have any value was issued.

‘Meanwhile, Olmert and Peretz continue their threats under the direct supervision of Condoleezza Rice.’

He added: ‘Now, the Americans and Israelis have decided to continue the war against Lebanon.

‘Nothing has changed.’ He notes that the Americans and Israelis described ‘the Qana massacre’ as ‘a regrettable incident’ that might happen during wars.

He said: ‘The Americans and the Israelis continue the battle. There is no serious talk by the Americans or the Israelis on cease-fire; there are talks on continuous conditions by those criminal and terrorist killers, Bush, Olmert, Condoleezza Rice, and Amir Peretz, who seem to enjoy the sight of blood, killing of children, and the demolishing of houses.’

On the formation of an international force, Hasan said: ‘Everybody knows that the formation of an international force is not possible. Many world countries, such as Australia and Britain expressed reservation.’

He added that forming an international force under fire means that many countries refuse to dispatch their soldiers under exchange of fire.

He adds that all the ‘conditions presented by Condoleezza Rice aim at justifying the continuation of aggression to enable the Israelis to achieve new objectives in Lebanon and ‘commit new massacres.’

Commenting on the new Middle East, he said: ‘Many people talked about a new Middle East. I would like to say that Iraq is being fragmented; Afghanistan is being fragmented; Palestine is on fire; and Lebanon is on fire.

‘This is the Middle East which Condoleezza Rice wants to impose. It is the fragmented and divided Middle East, which is set on fire, in the interest of the Zionist entity.’ He added that Rice’s main issue is ‘the security of this Israeli entity and the maintenance of its military superiority.’