Hizbullah supporters wave Hizbullah flags during a.
(photo credit: AP)
Hizbullah on Monday night harshly criticized a
proposed list for a new national government that would give the group
10 of 30 seats, submitted by Lebanon's prime minister-designate Saad
Hariri to Lebanese president Michel Suleiman.
Hariri said Monday that the Western-backed
parliamentary majority would get 15 seats out of the 30-member Cabinet.
The Hizbullah-led parliamentary minority would get 10 seats, while the
president would choose the remaining five seats.
Shortly after Hariri's announcement, Christian leader and
Hizbullah ally Michel Aoun
said the move "shows that Mr. Saad Hariri
does not want to form a Cabinet but wants to pass time and play with
the Cabinet according to his mood."
"If Hariri wants to create a new tradition (in forming a
Cabinet), let him search for people other than us to form a Cabinet
with," Aoun, who is currently outside the country, said in remarks
carried by the state-run National News Agency.
Hizbullah's Al-Manar TV
criticized Hariri's move in
its main news bulletin Monday night describing his government as the
"fait accompli Cabinet." It added that Hariri opened the way for "major
question marks regarding the fate of national unity."
Hariri has been trying to put together a Cabinet since he was
appointed by Suleiman on June 27, but its formation has been prevented
by disagreements over the allocation of top ministerial seat.
Israel had no official response to the political
developments in Lebanon, with one official saying that Prime Minister
Binyamin Netanyahu addressed the issue in the past, and that his
position then still stands.
In June, a day after Hariri was appointed the task of setting
up Lebanon's next government and becoming its next prime minister,
Netanyahu - in a clear message to Beirut - told the cabinet that if
Hizbullah was included in the Lebanese government, Lebanon would be
responsible for Hizbullah's actions.
"If Hizbullah joins the Lebanese government, then the Lebanese
government is accepting responsibility for Hizbullah's actions,
including its actions against Israel," Netanyahu said.
Government officials at the time said Netanyahu's comments were
meant to inform the Lebanese that if a national unity government was
would bear responsibility for Hizbullah's actions.
The official said Israel would deem Hizbullah's participation in the
new government as "a matter of extreme significance."
Netanyahu repeated his comments in the cabinet last month as well.