BEIRUT: Hezbollah said Monday it will extend a hand to political rivals in a bid to save Lebanon, after bombings ratcheted up sectarian and political tension in the country.
“We have heard from the president that he wants to form a government of national unity and he wants National Dialogue; and we continue to extend our hand in order to promote national responsibilities and to safeguard the country and the achievements of the martyrs,” head of the Hezbollah parliamentary bloc MP Mohammad Raad said.
President Michel Sleiman made an urgent appeal to political leaders Saturday, asking them to safeguard Lebanon by forming a new government, return to the National Dialogue table and disassociate the country from regional conflicts.
Sleiman’s weekend message came after a series of recent car bombings killed dozens and wounded hundreds in the Hezbollah-controlled Beirut southern suburbs and the northern capital of Tripoli.
The latest was a twin attack Friday targeting two Tripoli mosques, killing at least 47 people and wounding more than 500. At least 30 people were killed and more than 300 wounded in a similar car bombing in the Beirut southern suburb of Ruwaiss last week.
The attacks are some of the worst violence Lebanon has seen in years and raised the fear they would spark a dangerous cycle of sectarian strife.
“Those behind the bombings and the killing of civilians are not mujahideen and do not belong to Islam; they are terrorists and sectarian-minded,” Raad said Monday.
He said Muslims’ divisions only benefits Israel.
“Division and infighting are in the enemy’s interest. They take advantage of them to shape their plans,” he told Hezbollah supporters in the Iqlim al-Kharroub town of Jbaa.
The country is currently in a deep political freeze and has no sitting government while lawmakers have been unable to hold a parliamentary session. A series of bombings have sharply increased tensions across the country.
On Sunday, Raad said Hezbollah would stick to its position of opposing a fait accompli government, a major sticking point in the Cabinet formation process.
He did not specify what issue Hezbollah would be willing to extend its hand over.