Lebanon’s Hezbollah suspends official over Parliament spat

Hezbollah's top commanding body suspended the political activities of a leading legislator because of his spat with rival politicians in Parliament last week. (File/AFP)
Updated 24 February 2019
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Lebanon’s Hezbollah suspends official over Parliament spat

  • Musawi's comments violated a Hezbollah policy to avoid internal arguments with other groups
  • Earlier this week, Musawi did not attend the weekly meeting of Hezbollah's parliamentary bloc

BEIRUT: Hezbollah's top commanding body suspended the political activities of a leading legislator because of his spat with rival politicians in Parliament last week, a Lebanese politician said Saturday.
Legislator Sami Gemayel, who heads the Christian Phalange party, said last week that Hezbollah's wide influence was seen when it got its ally elected president in 2016.
Hezbollah legislator Nawaf Musawi responded saying "it's an honor" for the Lebanese that President Michel Aoun came to his post alongside "the rifle of the resistance," a reference to the militant group, and "not on an Israeli tank."
Musawi's last reference was to late President-elect Bashir Gemayel who was assassinated in 1982 days after being elected during Israel's invasion of Lebanon.
Gemayel's son, Nadim, an MP, called Musawi's statements "unacceptable."
Two days later, the head of Hezbollah's 13-member bloc in parliament, Mohammed Raad, apologized during a meeting of the legislature saying that Musawi "crossed lines."
The politician who is familiar with Hezbollah's internal affairs spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
The daily Al-Akhbar, which is close to Hezbollah, said Musawi will be suspended from taking part in parliamentarian and the group's internal meetings for one year. He will also not be permitted to speak to the media, it said. The paper added that Musawi's comments violated a Hezbollah policy to avoid internal arguments with other groups.
Earlier this week, Musawi did not attend the weekly meeting of Hezbollah's parliamentary bloc. He was also not present on the day that Raad issued his apology.


Israel envoy summoned over ‘intrusion’ at French cultural center

Updated 9 min 44 sec ago
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Israel envoy summoned over ‘intrusion’ at French cultural center

  • police entered the building Thursday to cancel an event with a women’s group which Israel claims is sponsored or financed by the Palestinian Authority
  • Palestinians who were to participate in the event said the allegation was false

PARIS: France’s foreign ministry said Friday that it had summoned the Israeli government’s representative in Paris over what it called an “intrusion” by Israeli forces at its cultural center in Jerusalem.
In a rare move, police entered the building Thursday to cancel an event with a women’s group which Israel claims is sponsored or financed by the Palestinian Authority.
A diplomatic source said France’s consul general had immediately protested the police’s entry to the center in east Jerusalem, which Israel has annexed in a move not recognized by the international community.
“Such actions are a serious and unacceptable infringement to the functioning of our cultural network in Jerusalem,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.
It said the Israeli charge d’affaires had been called to meet with French officials for “necessary clarifications.”
“France intends to maintain and develop its deep and longstanding relations with Palestinian civil society,” it added.
The French consulate could not confirm Thursday if the women’s association was indeed financed by the Palestinian Authority — Israel considers all PA activities in Jerusalem illegal.
But Palestinians who were to participate in the event said the allegation was false.
“It was an event related to Mother’s Day” and to sell crafts made by women from Jerusalem, said one of the women who was to participate, declining to give her name.
Similar events occur on a near-monthly basis, she said.