...With regard to the issue of the International Tribunal, the Secretary General of Hezbollah said that we were among the first ones to agree on it in principle, and we still agree on its inception. But, we demanded that safeguards and controls be put in place in such a way that the tribunal does not become like sword of Damocles hanging above the necks of the Lebanese, and a blackmail tool that lays siege to the resistance[...] After the opposition failed [to put in place those safeguards], and as a result of other government practices, the opposition had to take to the streets and impose its demands using democratic means...
"Hizbullah is pushing for more power in a new Lebanese cabinet partly to avoid being disarmed by any future government, deputy head of the group's political bureau, said.The remarks Friday by Mahmoud Komati were the first time Hizbullah has publicly acknowledged a direct link between weapons possession and its drive for more power."
Several months ago, as panicked tourists rushed to their embassies and whimsical observers mused about the correlation between Italy's World Cup successes and Israel's invasions of Lebanon, a theory was laid at my doorstep. This theory, murmurings of which you can still find in the quarters of the city not already entrenched behind party/sectarian lines, sought to reconcile the contradictory statements and actions of a group whose existence and presence (in its current form) was supposed to bring strength to the country, not jeopardize it.
Several weeks ago, as the country braced for yet another crisis, yet another theory was strewn across my doorstep. Like its predecessor, this theory sought to impose on the Lebanese a degree of continuity of the frame of mind bread through years of tutelage and occupation. Like its predecessor, it incorporated the realities on the ground today with a touch of mystery and intrigue.
This new theory - eagerly pronounced with the usual atonements to confidential sources - sought to finally, without any doubt, and to the satisfaction of all of Lebanon's political affiliations (no simple task to be sure), completely explain and put to rest the mystery of 'Who Killed Rafic Hariri'.
Also on Sunday, opposition leaders and supporters gathered in Beirut one last time in a bid to showcase their popularity before accepting a previously suggested compromise by the Arab League envoy, Mustafa Ismail.
Pics courtesy of news.yahoo.com
The Mufti of Mount Lebanon, Muhammad Ali Al Jouzou insisted yesterday on fulfilling the request of the Leader of Hizballah:
" He [Hassan Nasrallah] called for a judicial probe into his allegation [against the gov]. We now insist on establishing an Arab-Lebanese commission to prosecute him and make him accountable for his numerous mistakes against Lebanon. Also, the commission ought to inquire about the funds that he receives from Iran, which are used to buy up loyalties of numerous clients working as propaganda specialists, pseudo religious scholars and petty agents. "
"Lebanon is not the sole property of Hizballah so that its leader can unilaterally dictate the destiny of the Lebanese people and lead them into calamities. He has no right to fan sectarian tensions and cause all this destruction. So the question is: when will this Arab-Lebanese tribunal be established in order to fulfill his urgent wishes?"
...Hizbullah purchased thousands of army and police uniforms from a local company trading with such items in south Lebanon.
The respected newspaper did not elaborate on its short report, which sparked concern in security circles that Hizbullah's trained and tested fighters might use the uniforms as disguise to attack the heavily-guarded government offices, which Saniora and his ministers have been using as residence, across the street from the angry protestors taking part in the city center sit-in.
A ranking security official told Naharnet, that a shipment of uniforms similar to what is used by the Lebanese army and police force has been "imported by a local merchant from India and was recently sold to a local faction."
This, the official explained, is "a very, very serious matter. It reminds us of the mysterious kidnapping in the 1980s of four professors from the U.S.-affiliated Beirut University College (BUC) which was carried out by armed elements wearing police uniforms and driving police vehicles."
A pro-Iranian faction had claimed responsibility for kidnapping the BUC professors.
The security official warned that if the army and police uniforms were used by "irregular factions, this would further escalate the ongoing confrontation and would lead us to facing a real threat of terrorism."
The report comes amid continued demonstrations and sit-ins by Syrian allies in Lebanon. Many analysts believe these actions are aimed at stalling the Lebanese government's ratification of the UN Tribunal and so provide further cover for the Syrian regime.
The Dailystar has corroborated rumours that several Syrian nationals had been detained by Lebanese security officials following Sunday night's clashes in the Tarik Jedideh neighbourhood.
Renewed violence on the streets of Qasqas on Monday night, with 2 injured. The army is actively pursuing the instigators.
Protestors have again blocked off the road to the airport. Details to come.
"Security sources said four people were wounded in the clashes which took place in the densely-populated Tarik Jedideh neighborhood and on the Badaro-Qasqas highway."
"One person was killed and three other were wounded in two separate confrontations between opposition and government supporters in Beirut – one in the densely-populated Tarik Jedideh neighborhood and another on the Badaro-Qasqas highway, security sources said. Witnesses said the two sides fought with stones, sticks and knives. They said sporadic bursts of automatic gunfire could be heard in Tarik Jedideh before army toops and policemen stepped in to disengage the opponents."