'Hizbullah's digging its own grave'

Lebanese MP to 'Post': "Hizbullah is not a political party - it's only a terror organization."

By BRENDA GAZZAR
May 15, 2008 00:48
2 minute read.
'Hizbullah's digging its own grave'

arab league 224.88. (photo credit: AP [file])

Hizbullah is "digging its own grave" by having turned its weapons against its own people in recent days, a Lebanese parliamentarian told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday. "I think Hizbullah proved that... it's not a resistance [group]," said Yeghia Djeredjian of the Social-Democrat Hunchag party, an Armenian political party. "It's not a political party. It's only a terrorist organization." An Arab League delegation arrived in Beirut on Wednesday in an emergency effort to defuse the crisis, which has killed at least 82 people across the country within the last week and has stoked fears in the Mideast of a broader regional confrontation. On Wednesday, Lebanon's US-backed cabinet canceled two measured it took against Hizbullah last week that sparked fighting in which the Shi'ite Islamist group briefly took over parts of the Lebanese capital. A Lebanese minister said the Cabinet has reversed measures against Hizbullah that triggered the worst violence since the country's 15-year civil war. Hizbullah demanded that the government reverse decisions to sack an airport security chief for alleged ties to the Shi'ite group and to declare the militants' private telephone network illegal. Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah said the moves amounted to a declaration of war and shortly after, he unleashed his fighters on the streets of Beirut. The clashes left 54 dead. Information Minister Ghazi Aridi said the Cabinet revoked the decisions "in view of the higher national interest." Seconds after his announcement, celebratory gunfire erupted south of Beirut, a Hizbullah stronghold. Prior to the decision, Djeredjian strongly criticized its prospects, saying it would be better for Prime Minister Fuad Saniora's government to resign rather than cancel the measures against Hizbullah. No government, he said, should make any decision "under the power of guns." A second politician, however, said that revoking the decision to fire Beirut's airport security chief - who allegedly has ties to Hizbullah - and outlawing the Islamic group's communications network would be the right thing to do if the government received guarantees by all parties and the Arab world that security could be preserved. In addition, Hizbullah and its allies must refrain from "paralyzing the country" through its civil disobedience campaign, the politician said. But if such guarantees can't be made, he added, "that will make the crisis very dangerous." The politician warned that the Iranian-backed Hizbullah must set aside its arms and engage in dialogue with the other Lebanese parties before the crisis deteriorated into another civil war. "I think it's completely amazing that the resistance against Israel that we support all together is using their arms against us," he said. "I don't know why they are saying that we are part of the Israeli program, that we are being bought by the US... We don't have arms. We just want a strong army. When you are talking about the state and the government, it has to be for all Lebanon." Djeredjian argued there was no reason for any group other than the state to carry weapons unless there was an attack on the country. "If Israel or any country attacks Lebanon, I am the first person to carry a gun against that country," he said. "If there is no attack on Lebanon, there is no reason to keep any gun outside the government's powers." AP contributed to this report.


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