Hezbollah ‘a burden’ on Lebanon, says former MP Fares Souaid

Germany has banned Hezbollah from the country. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 01 May 2020

Hezbollah ‘a burden’ on Lebanon, says former MP Fares Souaid

  • “He who destroyed Iraq and Lebanon will not free Palestine,” read one comment of social media about the German decision

BEIRUT: Hezbollah has so far refrained from commenting on Germany’s decision to ban the group from the country and classify it as a terrorist organization.

Hezbollah’s parliamentary bloc, which convened on Thursday, did not respond to the German ban. However, social media was inundated with comments accompanied by the hashtag “Hezbollah is a terrorist organization,” which became the country’s highest-trending hashtag.

One user wrote, “The road to Jerusalem does not pass through Germany,” while another one said, “He who destroyed Iraq and Lebanon will not free Palestine.” A third said they hoped for Hezbollah to be classified as a terrorist organization in Lebanon and for the military to raid the homes of its members, its factories and its training fields.

One social-media user simply posted a picture of the late Lebanese army captain Samer Hannah, who was shot by a member of Hezbollah as he flew above the southern region of Sejoud in a helicopter 12 years ago.

“The German decision means either that Germany acknowledged the gravity of Hezbollah’s presence on its territories or it is agreeing with the United States on the importance of pressuring the group because Germany is one of its main sources of income. Apparently, there are more than a thousand Hezbollah members in Germany, while thousands of merchants are dealing with the group to make good profit,” said former MP Mustafa Allouch, who is now a member of the Future Movement’s political council.

Former MP Fares Souaid told Arab News, “Hezbollah burdens Lebanon politically, economically and financially in a way that the country cannot handle. We cannot stand against Germany, Saudi Arabia, Europe or the US.

“There are no compromises with Hezbollah. Either Lebanon becomes Hezbollah-free or we let it govern and we leave. We cannot coexist with an imposed policy,” he continued. “Hassan Nasrallah is imposing his foreign policy on all of us. We held dialogues with him and we confronted him. Both means proved to be ineffective. He is now doing what the former head of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, Yasser Arafat, did when he was ready to exchange Lebanon for Palestine. Today, Nasrallah is ready to give up Lebanon in exchange for the lifting of the sanctions imposed on Iran. The US is not responding and its empathy cannot be exploited. Hezbollah’s secretary general has to change his policy towards Lebanon.”

Charles Jabbour, head of the Lebanese Forces’ communications department, said, “The German decision comes within the policy adopted by western countries, which stopped differentiating between Hezbollah’s political and military wings. They now consider all of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, in line with the US position.

“This measure seeks to further pressure Hezbollah and its movement. It is necessary for the countries of the world to differentiate between Hezbollah and the Lebanese authorities so that the government can assume its responsibilities and role,” he continued. “Describing the government as Hezbollah’s government reflects negatively on Lebanon.”

Jabbour added that Hezbollah needs to “withdraw from all of the region’s crises and abide by Lebanon’s constitutional and legal regulations so that the country can receive the foreign assistance it needs in light of its economic crisis.”
 


Lebanon extends coronavirus regulations until July 5

Updated 38 min 1 sec ago

Lebanon extends coronavirus regulations until July 5

  • This is the sixth extension since they were first implemented
  • More beneficiaries were included on the list to receive COVID-19 aid

DUBAI: The Lebanese government has extended its ‘general mobilization against coronavirus’ for another four weeks.
The extension, the sixth since it was first adopted on March 15, was based on recommendations from Lebanon’s Higher Defense Council.
“The measures are still urgent to avert any second wave whose consequences will be difficult to treat,” the country’s information minister Manal Abdel-Samad said.
Lebanon’s government is still committed to the five-stage plan of reopening and security forces will help oversee violations of measures, he added.
Authorities have started the second wave of financial aid distribution to those negatively impacted by COVID-19, Prime Minister Hassan Diab meanwhile said.
The government has included more beneficiaries ‘n line with field studies carried out by the Lebanese Army in direct cooperation with the Interior Ministry, municipalities and mokhtars,’ Abdul-Samad said.
Authorities will allow protests if people wear masks, avoid blocking roads, do not vandalize public or private properties, refrain from clashing with security forces and non-participating civilians, she added.
“We are with the right to protest but that right can transform into chaos if there is a return to blocking roads, vandalizing public and private property … I don’t think that any Lebanese person accepts these practices, which don’t resemble democratic expression,” Abdul-Samad said.