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THURSDAY, 17 APR 2014
12:47 PM Beirut time
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March 14 funding Tripoli militants: Qaouk
Sheikh Nabil Qaouk, center, arrives to take part in Land Day commemoration at Beaufort Castle, several kilometers from the Lebanon-Israel border, in the southern village of Arnoun, Lebanon, Friday, March 30, 2012. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari)
Sheikh Nabil Qaouk, center, arrives to take part in Land Day commemoration at Beaufort Castle, several kilometers from the Lebanon-Israel border, in the southern village of Arnoun, Lebanon, Friday, March 30, 2012. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari)
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BEIRUT: The Future Movement-led March 14 camp is responsible for the funding of militants in the northern city of Tripoli, a Hezbollah official said Saturday.

“The [March 14] team has been exposed in terms of its support to the armed gangs in Tripoli. This team is responsible for funding and arming and employing armed gangs which are killing innocent people and attacking the Army,” Sheikh Nabik Qaouk, deputy head of Hezbollah's Executive Council, said.

The March 14 coaliton has repeatedly called for the disarming of the port city of Tripoli, which has seen repeated deadly clashes between supporters and opponents of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Qaouk, who spoke during a commemoration ceremony in the southern town of Aita Shaab, also said the March 14 coalition’s hostile stance toward his party was encouraging Israel to target Lebanon.

“It is time for the March 14 team to realize that their constant targeting of the resistance encourages Israel in its crimes and terrorism against Lebanon so they should quit targeting the resistance,” he said.

He added that the March 14 approach was more and more resembling the “Israeli-Takfiri plot to target the resistance.”

“The national duty requires this team to agree on a united national strategy to resist the Israeli-Takfiri risk threatening the entire nation and the Lebanese people of different sects and regions,” he said.

Qaouk also warned of the presence of Al-Qaeda-linked Islamist groups and fighters in Lebanon and said that the recent security developments in the country required a swift Cabinet formation.

“All political rivals should fulfill the national duty in confronting the Israeli-Takfiri threats by swiftly forming a Cabinet of national interest to protect the country’s stability and preserve national unity,” he said.

Lebanon’s Cabinet formation process has been stalled since April, hampered by conditions and counter conditions imposed by rival political parties.

Qaouk also described the recent assassination of a high-ranking Hezbollah commander as a “crime against the nation.”

Hezbollah commander Hassan Lakkis was killed Wednesday while making his way back to his home in the Beirut suburb of Hadath.

Hezbollah has blamed Israel for the killing. The Jewish state denied the allegation.

“Israel fears a direct confrontation with Hezbollah and this is why it resorted to a cowardly act at midnight without claiming responsibility for it,” Qaouk said.

 
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