MP: Lebanese could call for international or Arab protection


The gathering of Hezbollah and Amal Movement supporters in the streets of downtown Beirut early Tuesday prompted Lebanon First bloc MP Mouin al-Merhebi to warn that the Lebanese could call on the foreign forces to protect them.

“We should not rule out the possibility that the Lebanese could call on international or Arab forces to protect them from the armed gangs that are associated with March 8 alliance, he said in a statement in reference to the street gatherings by Hezbollah and its allies .

Several schools in Beirut were prompted to close as nervous parents pulled their children from class, as a result of the show of force by Hezbollah and Amal.

“March 8 was not satisfied with obstructing the state’s institutions and now they have started using armed mobs,” Merhebi added.

“All these attempts will fail since the majority of Lebanese support the Special Tribunal for Lebanon and Prime Minister Saad Hariri.” He said

Similarly Lebanon First bloc MP Ahmad Fatfat criticized the gatherings and said they reflected a “militia behavior and were instructed by certain parties,” a possible reference to Hezbollah and the Amal Movement.

Fatfat told Future TV that the street mobilization was a message reflecting that the March 8 coalition is ready to “go further than it said it would.”

Al-Arabia TV reported that hundreds of unarmed Hezbuollah and Amal Movement members gathered in downtown Beirut around 7 am local time . Most of the concentration was in the areas of Basta, Beshara Khoury, Nweiri, Ras el-Nabeh, Tayounneh and Zoqaq Blat.

They were reportedly dressed in black and carrying hand-held radios.

Lebanese security officials confirmed the gatherings, which dispersed by late morning and appeared to be a show of force to coincide with the videotaped statement by Special Tribunal for Lebanon’s (STL) Prosecutor Daniel Bellemare about the about the indictment’s filing.

Hezbollah denied any knowledge about the gathering. Ghaleb Abu Zeinab, a member of Hezbollah’s political bureau, said he is not aware of such gatherings.

“I cannot comment,” he said.

According to Voice of Lebanon Speaker Nabih Berri , who heads the Amal Movement interfered to contain the situation .

According to Voice of Lebanon Speaker Nabih Berri , who heads the Amal Movement interfered to contain the situation .

According to sources of Lebanon Files the gathering was intended as a manoever aimed at preparing for a major protest in the future … similar to what the Hezbollah led opposition supporters did between 2006 and 2008when they occupied downtown Beirut and tried to bring down the government

Bellemare submitted the court’s draft indictment for the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri to STL Pre-trial Judge Daniel Fransen on Monday at 4:35 p.m. local time.

The indictment was sealed and its contents will likely not become public for weeks.

Even though no one knows until this very moment the contents of the indictments the Iranian and Syrian backed Hezbollah has said it expects the indictments to be against members of its group.

Hariri was assassinated with 22 others on February 14, 2005 when a massive explosion struck his motorcade in a fashionable seafront district of Beirut, sending tremors through a country still haunted by memories of its 1975-1990 civil war..