Lebanon PM: Hezbollah is a regional problem, not just a Lebanese problem

"Look, Hezbollah is not a Lebanese problem — only — it is a regional problem," said Hariri.

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
September 4, 2019 12:36
2 minute read.
Lebanon PM: Hezbollah is a regional problem, not just a Lebanese problem

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri speaks during a news conference in Beirut. (photo credit: MOHAMED AZAKIR / REUTERS)

 Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri stated that Lebanon is not responsible for Hezbollah and that the terrorist organization is a regional problem, not just a Lebanese problem, according to CNBC.

"Look, Hezbollah is not a Lebanese problem — only — it is a regional problem," said Hariri. "Israel wants to have ... this scenario that Lebanon is responsible, with what Netanyahu says, and if you want to buy it, buy it. But he knows and the international community knows that this is not true."
Referencing recent sanctions by the United States on the Jammal Trust Bank due to its facilitation of Hezbollah's finances, Hariri stated that such banks should "expect the consequences" of handling Hezbollah funds.


"If a bank misuses this trust, we don’t like it, definitely. We try to stop it, I try to stop it," said the prime minister, acknowledging that the US "had to take this action, and I don’t like it and I wish this bank didn’t go through (with) what they did."


The prime minister acknowledged that he is limited in his ability to keep Hezbollah under control.


"I am a pragmatic person, and I know my limits, and I know the limits of this region. If people were serious about this issue, they would have done things 10, 15, 20, 30 years" ago, said Hariri to CNBC.


Tensions between Israel and Hezbollah have escalated since last week when two explosive drones fell in Beirut near crates containing equipment for precision guided missiles and Israel carried out an airstrike in Syria which led to the deaths of two Hezbollah terrorists.


On Monday, Hezbollah-affiliated Al Manar news published footage of the attack carried out on Sunday from the Lebanese side of the border, claiming that it refuted "all the claims that the attack failed to hit Zionist soldiers." The footage showed that two missiles were fired from two positions.


Israeli officials stated that no IDF troops were injured.


Minutes after the Hezbollah anti-tank missiles hit, soldiers with bandages and fake blood were flown by helicopter to Rambam Medical Center in Haifa. 


They were taken off the helicopters in stretchers and were discharged after the round of fighting ended.


Hezbollah broke "the biggest red line for dozens of years" for Israel by targeting it across border, not in the contested Shebaa farms area where the group had previously targeted IDF troops, said Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.


The attack against Avivim was a message to Israel, Nasrallah warned. 


"We no longer have red lines. This is the start of a new phase. Remember this date."


Anna Ahronheim contributed to this report.


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