Lebanon News

Lebanon's Arabic press digest - Nov. 20, 2012

Lebanon's Arabic press digest.

Following are summaries of some of the main stories in a selection of Lebanese newspapers Tuesday. The Daily Star cannot vouch for the accuracy of these reports.


Mikati in Paris: Resignation in return for guaranteed solutions

Major STL records [of evidence] in Hariri case

Although a number of topics and developments emerged at the beginning of the week, the discovery of two rockets ready to be launched on the Israeli-Lebanese borders raised doubts about the possibility of security in the south might be tampered with, after the recent developments in Gaza strip.

Sources said that the Lebanese Army found two 107-mm Grad rockets between the towns of Halta and al-Meri in the Hasbaya district, and defused them amid a high-level military alert by both the Lebanese armed forces and the United Interim Forces in Lebanon.

According to the sources, President Michel Sleiman is likely to address the incident during his speech on the Independence Day, which he will deliver tomorrow [Wednesday] evening.

Separately, members of the delegation accompanying Prime Minister Najib Mikati in Paris were quoted as saying that the meetings Mikati held with French officials were extremely successful.

French parliamentary sources quoted Mikati as telling French National Assembly President Claude Bartolone that he is ready for a new Cabinet. Mikati said he has tried – but failed– to bring all parties together prior to the formation of the current Cabinet.

According to the sources, Mikati said he is ready to resign if guarantees are provided regarding the participation of the March 14 coalition in a national unity Cabinet, as he aims for the resignation of his Cabinet to act as a gateway to a solution rather than to a new problem.


Will the opposition boycott the Independence Day [celebrations] as well?

It seems that the opposition boycott is not only limited to the Cabinet and the Parliament, but also includes national occasions, especially the military parade for the Independence Day and the reception President Michel Sleiman is holding in Baabda Palace for the occasion. In both cases, the boycott will be against the president and the army command.

After the March 14 coalition assured it is boycotting the Nov. 27 parliamentary session to hear a speech by the Armenian President, a debate is already going on within the coalition on its potential boycott of the Independence Day celebrations.

Sources said that some opposition figures wondered about how they could possibly attend the military parade and official reception at the Baabda Presidential Palace, knowing that Prime Minister Najib Mikati will be there alongside President Sleiman and Speaker Nabih Berri.

Future MP Ahmad Fatfat said that the opposition is still holding consultations on whether or not to attend the celebrations. However, a key source from the Lebanese Forces said they will attend the celebrations as part of March 14, saying that “the LF is not boycotting the president.”


‘Unknown rockets’ come out in the south... and Jumblatt launches his initiative today

Nasrallah to Arabs: Gaza wants arms... and not mediators

Lebanon remained attracted to the scene drawn by the Palestinian resistance in Palestine’s sky in response to the ongoing Israeli attack against the Gaza strip, and the Lebanese Army succeeded yesterday in preventing an attempt to sneak into the Palestinian scene through the South gate.

The army discovered two rockets ready to be launched and aimed at the Palestinian occupied lands, and declared it was able to defuse them about ten minutes prior to their launching timing.

Meanwhile, Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said during his Ashura address that Iran and Syria will not abandon Gaza and its people.

Nasrallah said that the Israelis are now seeking a cease-fire in order to bring things back to where they were prior to [Hamas military chief] Ahmad al-Jaabari’s martyrdom.

In another development, National Struggle Front Ministers Ghazi Aridi, Wael Abu Faour and Alaaeddine Terro and PSP Secretary Zafer Nasser are to visit President Michel Sleiman today, in the first step of the dialogue salvation initiative PSP leader MP Walid Jumblatt intends to launch.


Army defuses two Grad rockets ready to be launched over Israel

Hezbollah’s communication [network] infiltrates Beqaata

In the first development of its kind after the events of May 2008 in southern Mount Lebanon, a clash erupted in the Progressive Socialist Party dominated Beqaata-Chouf, between residents and a Hezbollah convoy of three tinted SUVs. Residents blocked the roads ahead of these cars and engaged in a hand-to hand- combat.

The incident reflects either the lack of coordination between the two sides, or is an intentional message from Hezbollah to intimidate the PSP after the latter launched a dialogue initiative to discuss forming a new Cabinet.

Sources from the PSP said intensive contacts were held between the leadership of the party and Hezbollah officials to explain the presence of the armed convoy in the region. However, Hezbollah officials did not disclose the task which the party’s convoy was performing in the depth of the PSP’s Chouf area.

Later in the evening, Beqaata residents protested in the town’s square after they found out a Hezbollah communication network crossed through the middle of their town without having them informed about it. Hezbollah’s security force mission, who included technicians, was to inspect the network.





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