Lebanon News

Lebanon's Arabic press digest - Nov. 22, 2012

Lebanon's Arabic press digest.

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


Unclaimed rockets [land] in the south on the eve of Independence Day

Sleiman in his [Independence Day] address: No to limiting dialogue, to intimidation and strife

As a new truce was declared between the Palestinian factions in Gaza and Israel, and two days after the army discovered two rockets set to be launched at the northern border area, two rockets landed in the Lebanese border side on the eve of Independence Day.

The incident recalls the challenges that are likely to face the Lebanese Army and the United Interim Forces in Lebanon in the southern area of their deployment.

Two explosions were heard near the southern border in the Marjayoun area around 8 p.m. last night. Security sources said that the explosions may be due to two rockets hitting the border area.

The army and UNIFIL troops immediately deployed in the area in search for the location of the two explosions, with the rockets rumored to have been launched from the Zaffata area near the Khardaleh [bridge] on the Litani River.

In his independence address, President Michel Sleiman stressed the importance of the Baabda Declaration, which was adopted by the National Dialogue committee on June 11, 2012, and urged all political sides to adhere to it.

The president said that the declaration enjoys both Arab and international support, as “it calls for preserving Lebanon’s neutrality and stability and [for] adopting dialogue.”


Suleiman rushes dialogue... and Nasrallah praises victory

‘Unclaimed Katyusha’ go astray

Lebanon celebrates today the 69th commemoration of independence, an occasion that will join the majority and the opposition for a few hours during the official ceremony of Independence Day and the military parade.

Meanwhile, two Katyusha rockets of “unknown origin” were launched yesterday from the south towards the occupied Palestinian territories. However, the rockets fell on Lebanese territories.

A security source said that the rockets were launched yesterday evening from an area located between Al-Jarmaq and Al-Ayshiyeh, but fell in the Khyam area without causing any casualties.

The source explained that the operation was carried in a new way, with a pick-up truck used to launch the rockets.

In a separate development, speaking after a truce was reached between Israel and Gaza, Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah congratulated the Palestinians for their “victory.”

Nasrallah voiced hope that “the brothers leading all factions of the resistance [will] succeed in imposing their conditions on the world from a position of strength and steadfastness.”


Consultations bring back the Doha agreement to the forefront

Meetings and consultation to find an exit to Lebanon’s current crisis continue, focusing on the initiative of Progressive Socialist Party Leader MP Walid Jumblatt.

Sources said that Jumblatt hasn’t prepared a comprehensive initiative. However, he is still suggesting ideas and questions regarding the possibility of resuming dialogue to discuss all points of contention.

According to the sources, there is a possibility of a return to the Doha agreement in terms of forming a national unity Cabinet, resuming dialogue in adherence to Baabda declaration, holding the parliamentary elections on the basis of the 1960 law, and not using any arms domestically.

Political sources close to Jumblatt said that the PSP leader has started to feel the pressure of the Druze community’s popular opinion and his party supporters in order to suspend his participation in the Cabinet.

According to the sources, Jumblatt started coordinating his action with President Michel Sleiman even before the National Struggle Front delegation’s visit to Baabda on Tuesday.

In a separate development, political sources said that France has told Prime Minister Najib Mikati that he cannot consider that the government crisis is over and that the situation after the assassination of Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hasan is similar to the situation prior his death.

The sources added that France has told Mikati he cannot ignore the issue of Cabinet change.





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