BEIRUT: Pro-Hezbollah politicians in south Beirut were accused of provocation on Tuesday for naming a street after the assassin who plotted the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.
To rub salt in the wound, the street is adjacent to the city’s Rafiq Hariri University Hospital. Hariri’s son, Prime Minister Saad Hariri, described the decision by Ghobeiry municipality as “sedition.”
Hezbollah commander and bomb-maker Mustafa Badreddine was described last week by the prosecution at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in The Hague as “the main conspirer” in the assassination of Hariri, who died when his motorcade was blown up in central Beirut in February 2005. Badreddine himself was murdered in Damascus in 2016.
The decision to name the street after him was “unconstitutional” and “an unnecessary act of provocation,” a source at the Interior Ministry told Arab News.
“There is no precedent for resorting to these methods in naming streets, especially when the name is the subject of political and sectarian dispute between the people of Lebanon and may pose a threat to security and public order.”
A Future Movement official said: “What has happened proves that Hezbollah has an absurd mentality. There are people in Lebanon who care about the country, and others who don’t. This group considers the murderers of Rafiq Hariri its heroes, but they are illusory heroes.”