Arab Civil War on Israel's Border: Hizbullah Seizes West Beirut|
by Hana Levi Julian
5 Iyar 5768, 10 May 08 03:22
(IsraelNN.com) With Hamas running Gaza on Israel's south-west border, Fatah attempting to take over Judea and Samaria in eastern Israel, Iranian-backed Hizbullah terrorists and allied pro-Syrian forces are fighting the Lebanese army - and have taken over parts of Beirut.
Lebanon has been without a president since November, when the pro-Syrian minority, which includes several Hizbullah ministers, demanded more representation in the Cabinet. The Western-backed government coalition has been struggling for months with the Hizbullah terrorist-led faction to retain control of the country while other Arab nations are eyeing the situation with increasing concern.
State-Run TV, Beirut Under Hizbullah Control
The Iranian and Syrian-backed terrorist organization seized large parts of the Lebanese capital and yanked the state-run Future News television station, owned by coalition leader Sa’ad al-Hariri, off the air.
“An army officer accompanied by members of Hizbullah walked into the station and told us to switch off transmission. We are off the air,” said a senior station official quoted by Reuters News Agency.
Royal Jordanian Airlines suspended flights to the embattled nation, joining Middle East Airlines, the Lebanese national carrier, in ending traffic in and out of Beirut indefinitely. Anti-Syrian leaders have charged that Hizbullah last week set up surveillance cameras on approaches the airport to spy on government officials.
Saudi Arabia called for a meeting of Arab leaders on the situation as the death toll mounted. Security sources said at least 10 people were dead, including a mother and her son, and 20 others were wounded as fighting continued Friday for the third day in a row.
Terrified civilians stayed indoors as Hizbullah guerrillas fired assault rifles, rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and heavy machine guns at government forces. Plumes of heavy smoke rose from cars and shops in several mixed Sunni and Shiite districts in the capital where some of the heaviest fighting took place.
Nasrallah Warns Against Disarming Hizbullah
Hizbullah chief terrorist Hassan Nasrallah claimed the Lebanese government had declared war by outlawing its telecommunications network, which it called “the most important part of the weapons of the resistance.”
The government deemed the independent Hizbullah land lines and private communications system a threat to national security. After a marathon 11-hour meeting that stretched from Monday night into Tuesday morning, the Cabinet also decided to fire airport security chief Brig.-Gen. Wafiq Shoukair for alleged ties to the terrorist group, further enraging Hizbullah. It also said Hizbullah has been flying weapons from Iran on a routine basis.
“The decision is tantamount to a declaration of war… on the resistance and its weapons, in the interest of America and Israel,” Nasrallah said, adding that he himself was “not declaring war,” but was “declaring a decision of self-defense.
“Those who try to arrest us, we will arrest them. Those who shoot at us, we will shoot at them. The hand raised against us, we will cut it off,” warned Nasrallah in a speech broadcast live on TV Thursday by a videolink hookup from a secret hideout. Nasrallah almost never appears in public due to his fears of assassination by Israeli operatives.
Hizbullah Cut Off Airport, Ties to Outside World
The fighting began Wednesday when Hizbullah supporters blocked Beirut streets on Wednesday with burning barricades, paralyzing the capital. Activists claimed they were enforcing a national strike, forcing a showdown in the ongoing government crisis.
Rioters torched vehicles, smashed windows and blocked the main road to Beirut International Airport, the nation’s only air link to the outside world. Most main arteries in and out of the capital were cut off and by the end of the day the border with Syria had been shut down as well.
Government officials warned the economy would crash within days due to the inevitable drop in tourism if the situation is not resolved.
Original article: Israel National News
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