Report: Hariri backs Hezbollah's scuds
Lebanese paper says prime minister stated in closed talks, 'Resistance must acquire anything it can to defend Lebanon in face of Israeli strike.' Meanwhile, country's Druze leader says not interested in peace with Israel, 'even if it withdraws from occupied lands'
Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri supports Hezbollah obtaining Scud missiles, Lebanese daily as-Safir reported Tuesday. Meanwhile, Lebanon's Druze leader Walid Jumblatt stated that Lebanon does not want peace with Israel.
According to the as-Safir report, Hariri met recently with Lebanese officials and told them that he "supports the resistance in Lebanon (Hezbollah) acquiring anything it can to defend the borders and sovereignty of Lebanon, and this includes Scud missiles, in order to face any Israeli attempt to strike Lebanon."
Hariri reportedly added, "I do not have a dispute with Hezbollah over its ultimate goal of resistance, but I do disagree with the organization on several internal matters."
After being told by the officials that his previous statements on the Scud missiles had angered the Americans, Hariri responded, "I care about my country's interests and nothing else."
Israeli President Shimon Peres had already publicly addressed the transfer of Scud missiles and, more recently, the "incitement to war" coming from Damascus. And last week, Brigadier-General Yossi Baidatz, who heads the Military intelligence's research department, said ballistic missiles were just the "tip of the iceberg" of organized arms transfer from Syria, with Iran's assistance.
Jumblatt: Peace? No thanks
Meanwhile, Lebanon's Druze leader Walid Jumblatt, who recently reconciled with Syrian President Bashar Assad after a personal and political spat, said, "Lebanon does not want peace with Israel, even it if offers to withdraw from its occupied lands."
In an interview to BBC Arabic, Jumblatt said Lebanon cannot bear a peace agreement with Israel, and hinted that there are currently two accepted realities in Lebanon – the first being an excellent relationship with Syria, and the second, a ceasefire with Israel.
During the interview, Jumblatt said "Lebanon does not want peace or an agreement with Israel, even if Israel offers to withdraw from the occupied lands." He explained that the current situation "is better for Lebanon's defense."
Jumblatt stressed that, "Lebanon can gamble on peace once a Palestinian state is established and once all the Palestinian refugees return to their land." A large part of the said refugees currently reside in camps in Lebanon.
Following recent reports of the transfer of Scud missiles and other advanced weapons from Syria to Hezbollah, which has lead to tension on the front, Jumblatt was asked if he could state for certain that Syria is not arming Hezbollah. "It is not a matter of making statements," he said, "the point is that the resistance (Hezbollah) is in Lebanon to defend it and the source from which it obtains its weapons is its own business."
Jumblatt added that Hezbollah provided Lebanon with sufficient weapons to defend itself, while the West gave it nothing but a limited amount of questionable arms.
"Where do the weapons for resistance come from? I don’t know," he said.