Last night and during a televised press conference Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah tried to present evidence to prove that Israel was behind the assassination of Lebanon’s former PM Rafik Hariri .
Lebanese Media has reported that the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) will indict Hezbollah members for the 2005 assassination of Hariri.
As was expected , only those who support Hezbollah bought the evidence. Many were disappointed because they were expecting convincing solid evidence and specific details on the the van that contained the 2000 kg bomb that killed Hariri. Nasrallah never mentioned the van. According to der Spiegel the van belonged to a Hezbollah official and was loaded with the bombs in the Dhahiyeh, a southern Beirut suburb and a Hezbollah strongold . The footage on Israeli monitoring activities was dismissed as nothing new and “routine ”
March 14 MP Khaled Zahraman told the Voice of Lebanon (VOL) radio station on Tuesday that the information Nasrallah presented during his Monday press conference is general…no concrete evidence was presented .
“The Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) is the only [body authorized] to deal with this issue,” Zahraman said.
He commented on Nasrallah’s UAV footage evidence, saying that Israel routinely monitors all of Lebanon, including political and security figures.
The MP called on Nasrallah to submit his evidence to STL , adding that the tribunal and the international investigators never ruled out the hypothesis that Israel might be behind the assassination.
MP Emile Rahme, a key supporter of Hezbollah told Al-Manar television on Tuesday that the information revealed by Nasrallah is more important than former Commissioner of the UN International Independent Investigation Commission Detlev Mehlis’ report on the matter.
“Mehlis’s [report] was based on false witnesses’ testimonies,” Rahme said, adding that Nasrallah’s evidence has a legal basis.
Rahme is the leader of the Solidarity Party which is part of Suleiman Frangieh’s Marada parliamentary bloc.
March 14 MP Nabil De Freige told Future News television on Tuesday that no one dismissed the hypothesis that Israel may be involved in the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
Nasrallah did not provide convincing evidence, but analysis and extrapolations based on his own logic, he added. “The footage Nasrallah displayed was not convincing,” the MP also said.
“Rejecting the Special Tribunal for Lebanon’s (STL) investigation before it issues its indictment is [unacceptable],” De Freige said, adding that positions should be declared after the investigation’s results are released.
Commenting on the footage , De Freige said that all political and religious figures are monitored by Israel. He was referring to Nasrallah’s claim that Israel’s alleged monitoring of Rafik Hariri indicates they were planning an operation against him.
Amal MP Hani Qobeissy told the Voice of Lebanon (VOL) radio station on Tuesday that based on the information revealed Nasrallah on Monday, Israel may be responsible for the assassinations that happened in Lebanon.
“Nasrallah’s information must be taken into consideration in order to investigate whether Israel was involved in these and subsequent assassinations,” Qobeissy said and added “Lebanon should avoid the Israeli plan to cause sedition in Lebanon”
Mustaqbal Movement MP Ahmed Fatfat , a key member of March 14 urged Nasrallah to present the Justice Ministry with all the data in his possession “so that spies – big or small – could be arrested. Otherwise, let everyone shut up,” he added.
“If it is proven, that during the investigation, members from Mustaqbal Movement were involved in the assassination of ex-PM Rafik Hariri we will accuse them of treason and accomplices in crime and they will be prosecuted as spies,” Fatfat said in an interview with the Qatari newspaper al-Raya.
Fatfat said Hezbollah will be stripped of the “Resistance” title in the event May 7 incident was repeated. Fatfat was referring to May 2008 when Hezbollah occupied the western part of Beirut and tried but failed to occupy Mt Lebanon.
Head of the People’s Movement Najah Wakim, a key supporter of Hezbollah said it would be a “scandal” if the Government showed indifference to circumstantial evidence presented by Nassrallah during Monday’s press conference.
“These were authentic statements made by a responsible man,” Wakim said in a statement issued on Tueday.
Wakim called on the government to obtain all the data and circumstantial evidence in Nasrallah’s possession and study them.
Israel on Tuesday dismissed as ridiculous Hezbollah claims to have acquired Israeli footage implicating the Jewish State in the murder of Hariri according to AFP
“Everyone in the world knows, even the Lebanese, that Nasrallah’s accusations are ridiculous,” said a senior Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity.
It is clear that the accusations were “coming from the pressure on Nasrallah over the international community’s suspicions about Hezbollah’s involvement in Hariri’s murder,” he added.
Iran sanctions and STL
Al-Liwaa daily quoted high-ranking Arab diplomatic sources as saying that the “organized campaign” personally led by the Hezbollah chief against the Hariri tribunal “cannot be separated from the effects of international sanctions against Iran.”
The sources said the campaign reached its peak during Nasrallah’s Monday evening press conference.
They pointed to the “size” or Iranian interference in Lebanese internal affairs in violation of all diplomatic norms.
They said Tehran also wanted to give “clear signals to the international community that the security and stability of Lebanon is in the grip of the Islamic Republic, and the greater the pressures imposed on it, the more Lebanon will be directly affected by these pressures.”
Iran, according to the sources, is seeking — through Hezbollah activity against UNIFIL in the south and what currently is going on against the International Tribunal ….to send a message to the United States and the West in general that Lebanon is still a card in its hand as that Tehran can use this card whenever it wants.