Beirut, Asharq al Awsat – Hezbollah accused Washington and Tel Aviv on Friday of manipulating UN reports to stir international strife in Lebanon and defended Syria and the rights of the resistance. The party’s Secretary General Sayyed Hussain Nasrallah lashed out at UN special envoy Terje Roed-Larsen’s recently released second report on the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1559, saying, “The report is full of poisonous incitement aimed at ruining the relations between the various Lebanese factions.”
He accused the United States of working to “inciting strife amongst the Lebanese and endanger relations between Lebanon, Syria, and the Palestinians”, adding, “The United States is targeting the Palestinian people and Syria and Lebanon”. Nasrallah also rejected attacks on Syria under the excuse of investigating the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri before the findings of the probe were released, fearing the report "will become a weapon” used by other countries.
Nasrallah was speaking in Beirut’s southern suburbs during a massive rally held to commemorate Jerusalem Day, an honorary holiday created by the late Ayatollah Khomeini to call for the liberation of Palestine.
He stressed that his group was committed to liberating every inch of land the Lebanese government considered occupied “without awaiting the legitimacy of [UN special envoy] Larsen.” He vowed the Shia organization will never abandon its arms and called for a national dialogue “to examine the role of the resistance”.
Huge crowds turned out for the annual rally, waving Hezbollah”s yellow and green party flags and red, white and green Lebanese flags as an elaborate military parade wound through the streets. More than 60 unarmed battalion formations dressed in military uniforms paraded past the party’s cheering supporters.
Hezbollah-owned al Manar television broadcast the event live and listed the number of those who attended at half a million. Government officials and prominent Lebanese politicians were present.
“As in Palestine, the resistance is targeted in Lebanon, but this time, through the international community because Israel was unable to defeat the Lebanese resistance”, the cleric said.
“The [UN] Security Council adopted Resolution 1559 and appointed Larsen and requested from him to present a report on every six months. He has amazed us with his mid-year report”, and said the report “practices international guardianship on Lebanon which Lebanon denies despite the evidence. He mentioned everything, not just matters relating to the UN resolution. He mentioned Hezbollah”s participation in government, the nature of relations that should exist between Lebanon and Syria and between Lebanon and Palestine .”
Nasrallah indicated that “all this points to an international guardianship on Lebanon with Larsen as its representative, armed with of Resolution 1559 and pursuing the Lebanese government, the Palestinians and the Syrians… Every six months we will have to take a written or oral test to Larsen on the implementation of the international community’s recommendations.”
“Larsen reported to the Security Council that the continued presence of armed groups in Lebanon is incompatible with the restoration of Lebanese sovereignty and territorial integrity although the demand of a Syrian military withdrawal had been met.
The resolution called for the withdrawal of all foreign troops and the disbanding and disarmament of Hezbollah and 12 Palestinian groups present within and outside refugee camps around Lebanon.
“Larsen’s report incited strife between the Palestinian, the Lebanese and the Syrians, and between the Lebanese themselves,” the leader of the Shiite group said.
“When officials talk to us about their policies, they tell us exactly what they state in their ministerial statement; they are with 1559 and the Cabinet confirmed this stance in its last session,” Nasrallah said.
“However, the report claims the officials told Larsen in private just the opposite,” he added. “Larsen wants to plant the seeds of suspicion and cause trouble.”
Nasrallah also criticized a report released last week by the head of the UN investigation into Hariri’s assassination, Detlev Mehlis, from who he said he had expected “a professional report”.
He commended a statement by Beirut MP Saad Hariri which stressed the family would not accept the use of the late premier’s death as a political weapon against other countries or parties as “responsible and rational”.
He attacked the US administration for “using the investigation which has not yet finished as an instrument to demand sanctions against Syria.”
Mehlis named several Syrian and Lebanese officials involved in the murder. Damascus had pledged to cooperate with the probe but condemned the findings as politically biased.
“The UN report is being used as an excuse to punish Syria for involvement in a crime that has yet to be proven and for its political and strategic choices,” Hezbollah”s leader said.
“In Lebanon, we reject this incitement to oppose Syria … we reject by principle that anyone is judged in Lebanon, Syria, or the Palestinians, without proof and without a just trial.”
Nasrallah called on the Arab League to “intervene quickly and not after it is too late as it is doing in Iraq and propose an initiative about the UN investigation and Lebanese- Syrian relations.”