Photo: Reuters
Foad Siniora, Lebanese prime minister
Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters
Beirut, Lebanon
Photo: Reuters

Lebanon: Internal strife erupts after war

Following ceasefire with Israel, internal war erupts in Lebanon between anti-Syrian camp and Syrian-Iranian-Hizbullah representatives. While one side demands that Lebanese army be only one in country, other side is getting criticism from residents of south

Things Nasrallah doesn’t like to hear: About three weeks following the war, Lebanon is already experiencing new conflicts in the form of a political struggle between chief representatives of the anti-Syrian party, headed by Saad Hariri, Fouad Siniora, and others, and between the Syrian-Iranian-Hizbullah representatives.


Tensions have been clearly felt between the two parties in recent days. Members of the anti-Syrian party called "March 14th Forces", met Thursday at the Bristol Hotel in Beirut to discuss the results and consequences of the war. Participants of the meeting announced a troublesome declaration for the Hizbullah: "The war that was forced on Lebanon proved that the mutual deterring theory between Hizbullah and Israel failed."


Hizbullah was not happy with the closing declaration, according to which: "Any weapon that is not included in the Lebanese system does not constitute a deterring force against Israeli offense, therefore Israel cannot be prevented from attacking Lebanon – which is what destroyed the mutual deterring theory being used to justify possessing weapons." The decision means that Lebanon should do with the protection provided by the Lebanese army and other lawful governmental institutions, without any other organization.


'Lebanon should abide by international law' 

Lebanese Parliament Member Samir Farangia read the announcement, saying that the war proved the above standpoint. According to him, Lebanon should abide by international law by respecting the blue line, spreading its army into the south of the country, implementing international decisions, rejecting countries that confront the international community, and return to an agreement on a ceasefire. In addition, Farangia rejected the possibility that Lebanon become a felid for Iran and Syria to operate from.


In meetings held on Thursday, Saad Hariri said: "No one factor should put the entire country at risk. The country is the basis of the existence of the homeland, that everyone aspires to in order to assure their safety and future. The country has duties and everyone should support this country which should be everyone's without exception. It is unacceptable for one man to be in its place, no matter his political and materialistic strength."


This is not the only struggle between the two parties. Another question came up as to who would rehabilitate Lebanon. The Lebanese Prime Minister worked hard to rehabilitate the country, but at the same time, Hizbullah made similar efforts. Siniora is planning a visit to Arab countries in order to, "thank them for their efforts in favor of Lebanon," he read out during a speech on Thursday that was to begin the country's rehabilitation that would "spread its rule of its legitimate forces over its entire territory."


Siniora's speech was in reaction to comments Nasrallah made last week, according to which he would be glad to return to the situation the night the war began, in order not to give up his weapons. "The tragic events taught us a lesson, according to which the country should insist on its sovereignty, rule its entire territory alone, and spread all its legitimate forces without partners," Siniora said.


'I want my home restored'

Hizbullah has other problems. Nasrallah announced the distribution of money to families, whose homes were hit, as well as a quick restoration of the houses damaged, however, residents of southern Lebanon have many complaints.


Some of the residents that returned to their villages after the war found that the majority of houses were destroyed. Some understand that their true struggle – coping with the frosty winter - is still ahead. "I don't want more medicine. What I want is to have my home restored quickly," says Saada al-Dirani, who lives with her 8 children in a tent that is supported by the only wall left of their house.


Meanwhile, the tremendous amount of military duds that fell on battling areas is also causing problems for Lebanese farmers. "Farming is our source of income, but we can't work because of the danger," said Abu Kasem from the village of Zawter in the southwest of Lebanon.


Siniora was able to check off the restoration of a bridge that was destroyed in IDF attacks by the French air force. France also pledged to help restore and assist Lebanon. Even the Americans are doing their share.


In the meantime, the other party is working full force at distributing monetary aid in Ein al-Hilwa, south of Beirut. Also, Iranian delegate, engineer Husam Hosh, arrived in Baalbek as head of an Iranian engineering delegation. The delegation, along with Heads of Hizbullah, intends to help rebuild and restore damages that were suffered in the area.


Assad also receives support

Someone else to receive support this week was Syrian president, Bashar Assad. Apart from a highly publicized visit from the Israeli delegation of the National Democratic Assembly that expressed support of Syria's stance, another delegation of 550 Druze from the Golan Heights also arrived 10 days ago to visit relatives.


In a special document published by the MEMRI Institute investigating media channels in the Middle East, it was reported that members of the delegation called for "beginning an opposition to the Israeli occupation". The Syrian establishment's daily "Al Baath" reported in this context that, "members of the delegation expressed their insistence in beginning an opposition to the Israeli occupation and sticking to the Syrian Arab Identity and not accepting any substitute for it. Also, they are confident that the occupation will be defeated and that the Golan with again have its freedom and honor by the homeland's leader, Bashar Assad."


"We have faith that the victory and release of the Golan will soon arrive under the leadership of the hope of the nation, Bashar Assad, and that the Syrian homeland's flag will rise and wave by his hand above the Golan lands, pure and saturated with the blood of righteous shahids," said Mahmoud Hassan al-Spedi, head of the delegation.


The Syrian establishment's daily "Tashrin", reported the organization of a new opposition in the Golan, demanding the release of Syrian prisoners held in Israel. In a report that appeared ten days ago in the Syrian daily it was written, "Simultaneous to the arrival of the delegation of the occupied Golan to the homeland (Syria), representatives of the national resistance in occupied villages published an announcement that demanded Israeli occupation forces release the prisoners from the Golan without condition."


The announcement warned Israel that in the event it did not comply with this human and righteous request, appropriate steps would be taken to release the prisoners. The announcement added, "The Lebanese model – that of Hizbullah – will be before our eyes as we execute the preparations for the release of our prisoners.


פרסום ראשון: 09.10.06, 17:13
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