Not an inch of Israel would be spared – not even the Red Sea port of Eilat – if
Israel attacked Lebanon, a Hezbollah representative warned Tuesday, amid growing
tension between the neighboring states over the demarcation of sea borders in an
energy-rich area of the Mediterranean.
“If Israel launches an attack,
rockets of the resistance will cover all of Israel. Even the city of Eilat won’t
be spared,” said MP Muhammad Raad of the Hezbollah-led Loyalty to the Resistance
bloc, according to Beirut’s The Daily Star newspaper.
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The lawmaker also
called for a cessation of funding to the UN Special Tribunal for Lebanon,
investigating the 2005 assassination of ex-premier Rafik Hariri, which last
month issued indictments against four Hezbollah operatives.
denied any connection to Hariri’s death and dismissed the tribunal as a
Meanwhile, Lebanon is considering filing a
complaint to the UN Security Council
over Israel’s plans to delineate the
maritime borders between the two countries, the newspaper reported. Muhammad
Qabbani – head of the parliamentary public works committee and an MP from
ex-prime minister Saad Hariri’s Future bloc – said Beirut may file a complaint
to the council under binding or non-binding terms of its charter.
said Israel had shown “aggression” toward its neighbor by drawing its borders
based on Lebanon’s sea border agreement with Cyprus, despite the fact that
Lebanon and Cyprus had labeled those borders temporary.
“The area which
Israel claims as its exclusive economic zone and Israel’s [demarcated border
with Cyprus] infringe on 860 square kilometers” of Lebanese territorial waters,
he said. Israel and Lebanon have been officially at war since 1948, and have no
Matthew Levitt, counterterrorism and intelligence
director at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, wrote on Wednesday
that Hezbollah has every reason to fear the details of Hariri’s assassination
coming to light.
“The inclusion of [Mustafa] Badreddine – cousin and
brother-in-law to Imad Mughniyah, who was chief of the Hezbollah external
operations branch known as the Islamic Jihad Organization (IJO) until his 2008
assassination by a car bomb in Damascus – has the group on edge, and with good
“The exposure of evidence tying someone as senior as Badreddine
to the murder of Lebanon’s leading Sunni figure would severely undermine
Hezbollah’s image – particularly the group’s longstanding claim that it is first
and foremost part of the fabric of Lebanese society, and only secondarily a
Shi’ite or pro-Iranian movement,” Levitt wrote for the Institute’s PolicyWatch
“Hezbollah is now the dominant political force in Lebanon, and
the odds that the indicted suspects will be arrested and handed over for trial
are slim to none,” he added.
“Regardless of Hezbollah’s response, then,
preparations for a trial will likely be underway by fall, whether Badreddine and
his accused co-conspirators are present or not.”