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Future Movement deputy head Antoine Andraos told Akhbar al-Youm news agency on Wednesday in response to a comment earlier in the day by Hezbollah MP Mohammad Raad, that “Lebanon is not under US tutelage but is, in fact, under the tutelage of Hezbollah’s weapons , no more and no less,”

“Hezbollah is the one that goes into the street and enters people’s houses, not America or France,” Andraos said.

If Hezbollah members are accused of involvement in former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri’s 2005 assassination, “they should defend themselves before the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) and not on the television screens,” he added.

Earlier on Wednesday, Hezbollah MP Mohammad Raad held a press conference in which he said that the STL serves foreign agendas and has increased tension and divisions among the Lebanese.

Raad also said the Special Tribunal for Lebanon is a violation of the Lebanese Constitution .

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, the Hezbollah chief 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 are concerned that should the court indict Hezbollah members, it could lead to a Shiite-Sunni strife.

The Pro Syrian Al Akhbar newspaper reported earlier in the month that Hezbollah has prepared a plan to take over Lebanon when STL issues its indictment for the 2005 murder of the late Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun , (a close ally of Hezbollah ) said on November 18 that Hezbollah might violently respond to an STL indictment that accuses Hezbollah party’s members in Hariri’s assassination.

Yesterday a leading Israeli Military Intelligence official expressed concerns that Hezbollah might seize control of Lebanese government institutions .

“Dozens will be killed when Hezbollah uses force and takes over government institutions,” senior Military Intelligence official Colonel Yossi Adler told the Knesset in ‘a possible scenario if Hezbollah is indicted by STL.’

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