Lebanese government condemns Israeli strike in Golan amid internal sectarian unease

Lebanese parties also demand that Hezbollah refrain from inciting another conflict with Jewish State.

January 23, 2015 06:42
1 minute read.

Lebanese child holds up plastic toy during pro-Hezbollah rally. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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In a meeting held on Thursday, the Lebanese government unanimously condemned the alleged Israeli strike on a Hezbollah convoy on January 18th, Lebanon's Daily Star reported.

Presided over by Prime Minister Tammam Salam, the meeting focused on developments in the region, which the Lebanese leader deemed "dangerous" and able to "affect our internal affairs.” Salam added that his government must immediately “contain the repercussions of these [regional] developments and go ahead with addressing people’s needs and implementing security plans in the country.”

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The March 14 coalition, a bloc of parties whose stance is largely anti-Syrian and critical of Hezbollah, called on the Shia group to avoid inciting a confrontation with Israel.

Hezbollah suffered what it described in an official statement as a "harsh blow" after Jihad Mughniyeh, the son of its former military chief, was killed in the strike this previous Sunday. Mughniyeh was reportedly traveling in a convoy with 11 other Hezbollah and Iranian figures when they were struck by a missile near the Syrian town of Quneitra. According to foreign reports, the missile had come from an Israeli helicopter although no official statement has been given by Israel.

Among the Iranians killed in the cross-border hit was top Revolutionary Guards officer, Gen. Muhammad Allahdadi. Allahdadi's presence in the Golan is purported by Iran and Hezbollah to have been a supportive role, helping Hezbollah in its fight against Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaida's local affiliate.

Meanwhile, Western sources have claimed that the joint Iranian-Hezbollah group was in the mountainous border region to plan attacks on Israel.

A recent statement by a Lebanese MP and former Lebanese Brigadier General seems to have backed such suspicions. Speaking to a Lebanese radio station, Walid Sakkarieh suggested that Hezbollah, Syria and Iran were training locals in the Golan to resist any attempts by Israel to normalize relations with them. In a separate interview, the same MP also suggested that Israel was trying to develop ties with Islamist forces – specifically Jabhat al-Nusra – who he suggests share Israeli interests, namely toppling the Assad government in Damascus.

Reuters contributed to this reports.

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