Lebanon ISF to deploy in Hezbollah stronghold: minister


Lebanese ISF logoLebanon Caretaker Interior Minister Marwan Charbel told An-Nahar newspaper in remarks published Saturday that the Internal Security Forces will call up two thousand reserve personnel so that the ISF can deploy in the Beirut area of Dahieh, where Hezbollah erected several checkpoints following a deadly explosion that targeted the area in August., according to a report by NOW .

“The reserve personnel will replace ISF personnel in office jobs, so that the latter can deploy in Dahieh on Monday,” Charbelsaid

“The deployment will start after the Fourth Unit gathers in the Dahieh [ISF] station on Monday afternoon, so that it can begin its mission starting Monday evening,” Charbel added.

Charbel also reiterated his rejection of self-security measures taken by Hezbollah, and revealed that the parties in Dahieh have voiced their relief over the planned security measures that the ISF will take in the area.

Hezbollah has stepped up its security measures, mainly in its strongholds of Dahieh and Baalbek, after a car bomb attack rocked the Shiite party’s base on August 19.

Many politicians have criticized Hezbollah for its security measures, but Hezbollah officials have denied that they have adopted autonomous security measures with MP Mohammed Raad saying that the party had repeatedly urged the state’s security forces to assume their duties in protecting Dahieh, but these demands were not fulfilled, a claim that was refuted by Charbel who had stressed last week that only the state’s security agencies are entitled to set up checkpoints.

“It is shameful for us to obstruct the role of the state and claim that it is unable to protect us,” Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rai said on Tuesday before traveling to Rome on a week-long visit to meet Pope Francis I.

“We must abandon our personal and foreign interests for the sake of Lebanon,” Rai demanded, in a possible reference to Hezbollah’s role in Syria and its allegiance to Iran.

Hezbollah elements told a journalist that they detained at a checkpoint last Saturday: “we are the state”

Al Anwar newspaper journalist Maha al Rifai , was beaten , cursed and insulted by the Hezbollah elements that were manning the checkpoint when she insisted that a Lebanese internal police officer should attend to the matter . One of the Hezbollah elements even tried to hit her with an electric cane .

One of the Hezbollah elements then told her : “Don’t you ever think you can come back to the Dhahieh area” and continued to curse her.