Hizbullah Militarizing Shiites

Interim Lebanese PM Saad Hariri issues a scathing condemnation of Hizbullah's 'tutelage of arms' in Lebanon's civic life.

Tags: Lebanon
Gabe Kahn. , | updated: 9:20 PM

Saad Hariri
Saad Hariri

Lebanon's interim Prime Minister Saad Hariri accused Hizbullah of seeking to "militarize" the Shiite community, Lebanon's Daily Star reported. The accusation is a renewal of Hariri's criticism of the hermaphrodite terrorist organization turned political party's use of armed force to influence Lebanon's civic life.

Addressing delegates from his Future Movement, Hariri also took aim at Hizbullah’s fierce campaign against the United Nations backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), saying it was a direct invitation to sectarian incitement. Hariri called on Hizbullah to consider the consequences of the supremacy of its weapons on national life in Lebanon.

"I call on them [Hizbullah] to stop this refrain and to reflect on the situation in the country as a result of... continuing attempts to impose the tutelage of arms on the political system," Hariri said.

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea told Future News television on Tuesday: “The strategic decision of [Hizbullah’s] arms is in the hands of Damascus and Tehran and it influences the internal game.”

Hizbullah has mounted a campaign to discredit and abolish the STL, which it dismisses as “an American-Israeli tool” designed to incite sectarian strife. In sharp contrast, Hariri and his March 14 allies have supported STL as the only means to uncover the truth behind his father’s killing.

Hariri asked, “Isn’t the campaign against the STL and the insistence on disrupting international justice into martyr [former] Prime Minister Rafik Hariri’s assassination a direct invitation for incitement and a violation of the rules of national consensus?"

Hariri’s remarks came as his Future Movement and its allies in the March 14 coalition have been mobilizing their supporters for a heavy turnout at next Sunday’s rally in Beirut to mark six years since the movement was launched on March 14, 2005 – a month after the assassination of Hariri’s father, former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri – to defend the country’s freedom, sovereignty and independence and call for a Syrian troop withdrawal.

The rally is intended as a show of force amidst rising tensions between Hizbullah and its detractors ahead of the STL's forthcoming indictment. The STL has been at the heart of tension between the two camps for months, threatening to destabilize the country, especially if Hizbullah is implicated in the assassination, as is widely expected.

Hariri's opposition to Hizbullah does not necessarily mean improved relations with Israel, however. His supporters have been asked to carry the Lebanese flag during Sunday's rally and chant: “No to the domination of one opinion, one slogan and one party. No to terrorism and intimidation and no to the arms of intimidation and blackmail. Yes to the state and the army in defending Lebanon against Israeli aggression!”