Hezbollah allies rush to defend it over clinic incident


Following the reports over the Wednesday clash between investigators of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon ( STL) and women at a clinic in Hezbollah-controlled al Dhahiya , several Hezbollah allies and sympathizers rushed to defend the Iranian and Syrian backed Islamist group.

According to reports by the local MTV station most of the women who attacked the two investigators affiliated with the Special Tribunal for Lebanon were clad in veils with their faces covered, and were believed to be men dressed in women clothes.

The investigators had scheduled a meeting with Dr. Iman Charara – who runs the clinic.

Sharara, who runs the clinic, and is believed to have close links with Hezbollah, said the investigators who came to her office had previously scheduled the appointment and that they “wanted to know the phone numbers of some 14 to 17 people who had visited her clinic since 2003.”

Following the incident Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah called on all Lebanese to boycott STL and to end all cooperation with its investigators.

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblatt , a Hezbollah sympathizer issued a statement on Friday in which he described the behavior of STL’s investigators as ‘unethical’ and wondered whether the such behavior serves justice.

Jumblatt , who used to be a major supporter of STL said that parties must understand the objection of Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah to the Wednesday incident in Dahiyeh.

The Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP), another ally of Syria issued a statement on Friday saying that “the parties that support the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) are endorsing a US-Israeli project.”

“The STL’s goal has become obvious… it is no longer acceptable for any Lebanese to support it.”

Change and Reform bloc MP Michel Aoun, Hezbollah’s key Christian ally said on Friday that “legally, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) does not exist.”

He told Al-Manar television that he had never acknowledged the existence of the STL, adding that it was imposed by the UN Security Council on Lebanon.

“The tribunal does not exist, so we do not have any problem by not cooperating with it,” Aoun said, adding that Lebanon is not bound to pay an annual share to fund the court.

“How can I acknowledge a tribunal that does not admit the existence of unreliable testimonies?” He asked

He also said that the STL has become an instrument to create disputes between the Lebanese people.

MP Talal Arslan, a staunch Syrian ally said on Friday that he is opposed to accusing Hezbollah of involvement in the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri “no matter how high the price,” media outlets reported.

He added: “We will not accept any party to harm the Resistance.”

Iranian Ambassador to Lebanon Ghadanfar Roken Abadi said in an interview published Friday that Israel is endorsing the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) to incite strife in Lebanon.

“The Israelis and their allies cannot bear witnessing stability in Lebanon,” he also said in an in interview with Manbar al-Wehda magazine.

Tension escalated in Lebanon following reports that the Special Tribunal for Lebanon will soon issue its indictment into the 2005 assassination of Lebanon’s former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Last July, Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said that the tribunal is “an Israeli project” that will indict Hezbollah members. Nasrallah accused Israel of being behind Hariri’s assassination but refused to provide the evidence to STL to support his claim. Hezbollah and its March 8 allies have been calling for the abolition of STL.

Some leaders like MP Walid Jumblatt are concerned that should the court indict Hezbollah members, it could lead to a Shiite-Sunni strife, but others disagree since Hezbollah and its allies the Syrian backed Palestinian militants are the only armed militias in Lebanon.