Hezbollah calls on supporters to donate as sanctions pressure bites

In this Nov. 12, 2010 file photo, Hezbollah fighters parade during the inauguration of a new cemetery for their fighters who died in fighting against Israel, in a southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon. (AP)
Updated 10 March 2019
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Hezbollah calls on supporters to donate as sanctions pressure bites

  • Hezbollah was founded in 1982 by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. Its influence has expanded at home in Lebanon and in the region

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s Hezbollah on Friday called on its supporters to donate money as it comes under increasing pressure from Western sanctions intended to isolate it financially.
The US deems all parts of Hezbollah a terrorist organization and has been steadily increasing financial sanctions against the Iran-backed movement.
“I announce today that the resistance is in need of its (popular base),” Hezbollah’s Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said, adding that donations were needed to support the group’s activities.
Hezbollah is part of the Lebanese government. It is also heavily armed and has sent militants to the conflict in neighboring Syria.
Britain last month said it would list all elements of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization for destabilizing the Middle East, breaking with the rest of the EU which proscribes only its military wing.
In a televised speech, Nasrallah said other nations may follow Britain’s example.
“The sanctions and the terror lists are a form of war ... we should deal with them as if they are a war,” he said.
He called on Hezbollah supporters to remain steadfast in the face of these pressures and said the group’s enemies would be “disappointed.”
“Their actions will not be able to make us poor, hungry or isolated. Those that support us will continue in their support — be they countries, people or our people and the people of resistance in Lebanon,” Nasrallah said.
Hezbollah was founded in 1982 by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. Its influence has expanded at home in Lebanon and in the region.
The group controls three of 30 ministries in the Lebanese government led by Western-backed Prime Minister Saad Al-Hariri, the largest number ever. It does not acknowledge having separate political and military wings.
Hezbollah and political allies that view its arsenal as an asset to Lebanon won more than 70 of Parliament’s 128 seats in an election last year, a major blow to Lebanese parties that oppose its possession of weapons like the Christian Lebanese Forces, which enjoys close ties to US-allied Gulf states.


Netanyahu urges rival Gantz to form unity government

Updated 11 min 2 sec ago

Netanyahu urges rival Gantz to form unity government

  • Gantz is yet to respond to the approach by Netanyahu
  • The change of strategy reflected Netanyahu’s weakened position

JERUSALEM: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on Thursday on his main rival, former general Benny Gantz, to join him in a broad, governing coalition after Israel’s election ended with no clear winner.
A spokeswoman for Gantz, leader of the centrist Blue and White party, had no immediate response to the surprise offer from Netanyahu, head of the right-wing Likud party.
The change of strategy reflected Netanyahu’s weakened position after he failed again in Tuesday’s election, which followed an inconclusive ballot in April, to secure a parliamentary majority.
“During the election campaign, I called for the establishment of a right-wing government but to my regret, the election results show that this is impossible,” Netanyahu said.
“Benny, we must set up a broad unity government, as soon as today. The nation expects us, both of us, to demonstrate responsibility and that we pursue cooperation.”
On Wednesday, Gantz said he hoped for a “good, desirable unity government.” But he has also ruled out forming one with a Netanyahu-led Likud, citing looming corruption charges against the prime minister. Netanyahu denies any wrongdoing.