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Israel benefited from Hariri assassination: Lebanon ex-President Lahoud

Press TV – November 7, 2015

Lebanon’s former President Emile Lahoud says the Israeli regime has benefited most from political assassinations in the country, including that of former Prime Minister Rafic Hariri, Press TV reports.

In an exclusive interview with Press TV, segments of which were aired on Saturday, Lahoud rejected accusations that the Syrian government and Lebanon’s resistance movement Hezbollah had a role in the 2005 assassination of Hariri.

The Tel Aviv regime was the entity that largely benefited from Hariri’s killing and other assassinations in Lebanon, Lahoud stated.

He also cited as a proof the fact that the satellites that were watching over the area where Hariri was killed in Beirut belonged to Israel and the United States. Neither Tel Aviv nor Washington later accepted to share their data and images on the assassination, he said.

The former Lebanese president said the West and Israel have accused everybody in Lebanon for the killing, so that they can divert public attention from their own potential role in the incident.

Lahoud said the assassination of Hariri showed that the United States and Saudi Arabia have been doing what Israel wants them to do in the Middle East.

November 8, 2015 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Who Benefits from the Shatah Assassination?

By RANNIE AMIRI | CounterPunch | January 3, 2014

The burial of former Lebanese Finance Minister Mohammed Shatah next to assassinated ex-premier Rafic al-Hariri in Beirut’s Muhammad al-Amin mosque was as striking and deliberate in symbolism as the towering structure itself.

Last Friday’s assassination of the Hariri family’s senior advisor and one-time U.S. ambassador was by similar method: a massive car bomb detonated under his convoy as it drove through the heart of Beirut’s upscale downtown district. As if to purposefully underscore the parallels and frame the post-assassination narrative, it also occurred just a few hundred yards from the site where the billionaire Hariri was murdered in February 2005.

Just as after Hariri’s killing, the calculated recriminations of the March 14 coalition, led by the Future Movement, came fast and furious. Blame was laid squarely at the feet of Hezbollah. March 14 supporters were quick to point out that the crime took place less than three weeks before the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL; the U.N.-established court tasked with investigating the Hariri assassination) was set to open proceedings against four accused Hezbollah members.

The shoddy STL investigation, relying heavily on telecommunications data wholly compromised by Israeli intelligence and their captured agents, has been previously discussed.

Did the masterminds of the Shatah assassination hope the Lebanese population would turn against Hezbollah, already facing strong rebuke for its intervention in Syria by March 14 politicians (despite that the latter have implicitly lent support to radical takfiri elements involved in the Syrian conflict since its earliest days)?

As with all political upheavals in Lebanon, the question that must be asked is, “who benefits?” Does Hezbollah? Although Shatah was a stalwart March 14 operative who decried Hezbollah’s role in Syria, he was nevertheless regarded as a relative moderate. But the increasingly virulent sectarian discourse of those on the fringes of this political alliance (and many at its center) and the cover they have extended to extremists like fugitive Sheikh Ahmad al-Assir, cannot be ignored. Beirut after all, is still reeling from recent twin suicide car bombings at the Iranian embassy followed shortly thereafter by the assassination of Hezbollah senior commander Hassan al-Lakkis. On Thursday, innocent Lebanese civilians were again victims of a car bomb detonated in the Haret Hreik neighborhood of Beirut’s Shia-majority southern suburbs, known as the dahiyeh.

“Moderate” Sunni politicians like Shatah are viewed as expendable, for their killing only serves to polarize the wider Sunni community by inciting sectarian hatred and thereby marginalize more reasoned voices. Even Lebanon’s Grand Mufti was not spared as he was accosted after mourners’ passions were stoked by Sheikh Ahmad al-Omari, the cleric who delivered the sermon at the funeral of a young man also killed in the assassination. As Al-Akhbar reports, “Omari attacked Hezbollah, describing it as the ‘party of the devil.’ He called on the Shia to ‘disown’ Hezbollah ‘if they are true believers,’ and stressed the ‘patience of the persecuted Sunni sect is running out.’”

Again, does Hezbollah achieve any gain, political or otherwise, with Shatah’s demise?

The irony is that the inflammatory rhetoric and policies of March 14 parliamentary bloc members have led to the exponential growth of radical forces in the country. One only has to recall how former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, Bahia Hariri and others insinuated the Lebanese Army was responsible for provoking Salafist cleric al-Assir’s armed forces to launch an attack against them this past summer in Sidon, killing 18.

Son of the late prime minister and Future Movement head Saad Hariri also did not waste any time in essentially blaming the victims themselves for Thursday’s attack: “They are at the same time victims of [Hezbollah’s] involvement in foreign wars, particularly in the Syrian war.”

The northern city of Tripoli and the Ain al-Hilwah Palestinian refugee camp near Sidon have provided extremist groups with safe refuge. Details have now emerged pointing to a possible link between those in the camp and recent events.

Just as in Iraq, moderate Sunni politicians have been singled out for assassination by takfiris who seek to exploit their spilled blood, provoke co-religionists into committing crimes against civilians and stir a simmering sectarian pot.

Who are the likely perpetrators behind Mohammed Shatah’s assassination and the dahiyeh bombing?

The very same ones the U.S. and Saudi-backed March 14 coalition have emboldened.

Rannie Amiri is an independent commentator on Middle East affairs.

January 5, 2014 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lebanon: Who Is Behind the Attacks on Hezbollah?

By Ibrahim al-Amin | Al-Akhbar | August 5, 2013

For 25 years now, Hezbollah has been engaged in a war with many powerful intelligence outfits from around the world. These intelligence agencies have devoted tremendous resources to collect information on the party, in addition to pursuing both its civilian and military activities, not to mention carrying out assassinations against its cadre and leadership.

Israel has played a key role in these efforts, but it is hardly alone. After the assassination of Rafik Hariri in 2005, Hezbollah was subjected to the most ferocious campaign against it, with former US ambassador to Lebanon Jeffrey Feltman admitting before Congress that Washington spent $500 million to undermine the party’s image.

After the outbreak of the Syrian uprising and Hezbollah’s open declaration of its involvement in the country’s fighting, the campaign intensified, with mounting threats to the party and its supporters that they may be subjected to revenge attacks.

First, the Resistance’s Dahiyeh stronghold was shelled with rockets. Similar attacks followed on many towns and villages in Baalbeck and Hermel. These were followed by roadside bombs targeting Hezbollah members on the main Lebanese highway to Syria, culminating in the massive Bir al-Abed blast in the heart of Dahiyeh.

Hezbollah is in a state of high alert due to the fact that it has been forced to fight simultaneously on two fronts. This has prompted Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah to tell the party’s cadre that they must be prepared for attacks that may involve both Syrian and Lebanese groups, without dropping their guard against their main enemy – Israel.

On the eve of Hezbollah’s engagement in the battle of Qusayr, it initiated a plan that involved:

– a series of practical steps to prevent the killing of Lebanese civilians held by the Syrian opposition in the north of the country;

– securing areas that may become targets of reprisals, including the border areas, Beirut, and South Lebanon.

The question today is: Who thought up an adventure of this kind against the Resistance? I wonder whether they thought about the party’s reaction.

Who are these people? Are they groups within the Free Syrian Army or the Salafi al-Nusra Front? Are they jihadi elements in Lebanon active in the North and Bekaa? Could they be Palestinians who have abandoned their cause to work as agents serving another agenda?

Who is helping them inside Lebanon? What are the Internal Security Forces (who take orders from the Future Party) doing about it? They seem to care little about people’s safety and are mainly concerned with collecting information on the Resistance.

In any case, Hezbollah has surprised friend and foe on more than one occasion in their intelligence capabilities. So, will the Resistance surprise us again by revealing who is behind these attacks?

August 5, 2013 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

‘Rafiq Hariri Center for the Middle East’ took part in AIPAC meeting

Al-Manar | March 22, 2012

The Lebanese Al-Akhbar daily published a report Thursday in which it revealed that the “Rafiq Hariri Center for the Middle East”, which was funded and established by the late Lebanese prime minister’s son, Bahaa, took part in an AIPAC meeting on the fifth of March.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, AIPAC, holds yearly one of the most significant conferences in the United States in support of Israel, its policies, and its politicians; and “Rafiq Hariri Center for the Middle East” took part in this conference along with Zionist PM Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Perez.

The center’s director Michele Dunne, who attended as a representative to the center, chose to share her dialogue session with Israeli Brigadier General Michael Herzog, and discussed with him the Egyptian situation and the future of the region.

The paper clarified that the “Rafiq Hariri Center for the Middle East is part of the ten programs that go under the Atlantic Council, which on its part, is a 50-year-old council that aims at promoting Atlantic cooperation with international security.”

The council is the “representative of the Middle East” and its interests lay in “the future of the NATO, financial stability, energy security, and fighting extremism and violence.”

“While “the Atlantic Council” holds conferences on US diplomacy in Iran, global defense strategies, the new challenges for NATO, in addition to energy and global financial markets problems, the “Rafiq Hariri Center for the Middle East” specializes in Arab countries’ issues, especially at these transitional phases, like Yemen, Libya, Bahrain, Egypt and Tunisia,” the paper explained.

It added: “After examining the content of those sessions, it turns out that what unites them is achieving the US as well as the NATO’s financial, security, and political benefits in those countries.”

Al-Akhbar daily said that Michele Dunne worked in the US Foreign Ministry’s Intelligence and Research Bureau, and was a specialist in Middle East affairs in the White House.

In addition, “she took part in “special missions” for the National Security council, and worked in the US embassy in Cairo and in the Consulate General in occupied Al-Quds.”

March 22, 2012 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 1 Comment