The Hizbullah drone infiltration into Israel “amounts to a declaration of war,” worried former Lebanese Prime Minister Siniora has warned. Former Prime Minister Sa’ad Hariri also said he fears the drone incident could drag Lebanon into a war with Israel, the Beirut Daily Star reported.
The unusually harsh criticism of the Iranian-backed terrorist party and network opened up wounds of years of dissent between nationalists and pro-Syrian and pro-Iran factions. Lebanon suffered from a devastating 15-year civil war until 1990 and has been wracked by political instability ever since.
Siniora, who now heads Hariri’s heads Future bloc, said that Hizbullah’s “action shows that it was an Iranian decision ... No doubt this action needs techniques that are available only in Iran. It was an Iranian action that implicated Lebanon in regional and international struggles and consequently, made us in Lebanon a platform for the exchange of messages.”
Siniora did not spare praise for Hizbullah’s “military and technical achievement against the Israeli enemy” but added, “This action in my belief constituted a provocation against Israel because as Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah indicated, the drone flew over waters overlooking the coasts of the occupied territories and over land, south of the occupied territories in Israel.
“Therefore, there are some who point to an issue relating to the gas and oil installations on the occupied territories’ coasts and also the Israeli atomic reactors in Dimona. This in itself amounts to a declaration of war.”
He criticized Nasrallah for not consulting with the Lebanese government, which is dominated by the terrorist organization and pro-Syrian parties.
“We find that Hizbullah is not only implicating Lebanon in the conflict in Syria, but also in the midst of regional and international struggles concerning Iran and Iran’s nuclear program and in its [Hizbullah’s] role in the developments in Syria.”
Siniora's concerns reflect the fragile nature of the government, which has been in continual crisis during a creeping domination of Hizbullah over Lebanon’s affairs.
Israel leaders have defined Hizbullah as being a “state within a state,” and IDF officers have noted that there often is no distinction between the Lebanese army and Hizbullah forces.
Both Israel and anti-Syrian parties in Lebanon are concerned that Syrian President Bashar Assad will turn to Hizbullah to escalate attacks against Israel to divert attention from the Syria civil war.