Lebanese minister attacks Nasrallah's criticism of 'Sunni collaboration with Israel'

The minister tweeted remarks suggesting that Nasrallah's criticism of Saudi Arabia was hypocritical.

February 17, 2016 15:19
1 minute read.
Nasrallah speaking

Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah addresses his supporters through a giant screen during a rally commemorating the annual Hezbollah Martyrs' Leader Day in Beirut's southern suburbs, Lebanon February 16, 2016. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Lebanese Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi has attacked Hezbollah's Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah for the speech he delivered Tuesday evening, in which he accused Turkey and Saudi Arabia of allying with Israel over the Syrian conflict.

On Wednesday, Rifi tweeted remarks suggesting that Nasrallah's criticism of Saudi Arabia was hypocritical. He brought up the Hezbollah chief's alleged ties to US intelligence during the 1980s Iran Contra scandal and his movement's opposition to fellow Lebanese Shi'te resistance group, Amal.

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"The soldier of Iran-gate, the one who fights the Amal movement with Israeli aid and who fights in Syria thanks to an Israeli-Russian understanding, should stay silent and be ashamed," the minister tweeted.

In addition, Rifi attacked Nasrallah's attempts to paint himself as Palestine's savior, saying that "those who paid with their blood in the fighting with Israel since 1948 are those who fight for the Palestinian issue and they do not need the aid of martyrs from the Iranian-Israeli alliance that has ruined the area."

In the speech he delivered on Tuesday, Nasrallah threatened to strike the ammonia facilities in Haifa with rockets, claiming that this would be "Lebanon's nuclear bomb." He also accused Israel of intervening in Syria by encouraging Turkey and Saudi Arabia to send their forces to the state.

Rifi is considered a very strong opponent of Hezbollah within the Lebanese government. On February 11, he announced that he was suspending his participation in the government until the case of Michel Samaha is transferred to the Judicial Council. Samaha, a former minister in the Lebanese government and a Hezbollah crony, was released in January after being charged in August 2012 with forming a group to commit terror attacks in Lebanon.

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