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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Uproar in Lebanon over Nasrallah speech

Last Friday, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah made a speech that prompted a number of Lebanese observers feel that he might be planning a coup.

Right now, the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon is coming closer to announcing the results of its investigation into the assassination of Prime Minister Hariri in 2005. According to an investigation by Der Spiegel last year, the STL has found strong evidence that Hezbollah was behind the assassination.

At the same time, Lebanon's internal security forces have arrested a number of people in the past few weeks as Israeli spies, most recently members of Lebanon's telecommunications carrier Alfa Telecom.

Nasrallah's speech slammed the STL as working for Zionist interests. Moreover, he charged that the Lebanese government itself was infiltrated with Zionist spies, pointing to an incident on May 5, 2008, when the government decided to declare Hezbollah's internal telecommunications network illegal.

Hezbollah responded to that incident by staging a bloody takeover of West Beirut, killing dozens.

Nasrallah also bragged that his organization could not be infiltrated by collaborators with Israel the way that Lebanon's government was, and he called for the death penalty for Israeli spies.

Phalange MP Sami Gemayel said that Nasrallah's speech could be asignal for a repeat of the May, 2008 events, as did March 14 General Coordinator Fares Soueid. An article in Ya Libnan warns of the same scenario.

Meanwhile, Lebanese security forces say they have identified three Hezbollah officials who were collaborating with Israel!

Lebanon remains a powder keg. No one dares to confront Hezbollah on its virtual stranglehold on the Lebanese, but the results of the tribunal may ignite another civil war.