Lebanon News

Lebanon's Arabic press digest - Oct. 14, 2012

Lebanon's Arabic press digest.

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


Roumieh prison failure addressed after [prisoners] escape

International investigation into the Hariri case asks about “Ayyoub” drone

Two days after discovering the escape of three Fatah al-Islam inmates from Roumieh prison, investigations were not limited to the case, but expanded to address the security and managerial failures in Roumieh.

President Michel Sleiman was very clear in addressing the default in Roumieh prison, and expressed his annoyance at the incident while meeting with ISF chief Maj. Gen. Ashraf Rifi.

The president said that such incidents are “unacceptable,” and asked the required investigations to be conducted and the necessary measures taken to hunt down the escapees.

Meanwhile, Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah's acknowledgment of the party's possession of a drone has renewed interest in the possible Israeli involvement in the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Sources following the investigation recalled Nasrallah’s 2010 press conference in which he presented images obtained from Israeli drones that followed the late Hariri’s travel route in Lebanon.

Nasrallah stated during the August 9, 2010, press conference that Hezbollah technicians were able to break the code of the drones and obtain the images they had photographed.

The sources said that the investigation team in Hariri's murder asked Hezbollah to present this “evidence” to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, but the party refused arguing that it does not recognize the international investigation.


Berri denies statements attributed to him about the postponement of elections

Hezbollah accuses Hariri and Future Movement of what he and his Syrian ally are involved in

Focus remained on President Michel Sleiman’s reaction to Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah's announcement that his party was behind the drone [that was shot down by Israel], further involving the country in a war they haven’t chosen.

Responses to Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s stance regarding the drone escalated, with he and his Future Movement accused of “killing 33 thousand Syrians” by Deputy Hezbollah leader Sheikh Naim Qassem.

The Central News Agency quoted well informed sources saying that Nasrallah’s statements caused major irritation to some leaders, who interpreted his words as a challenge outside the norms and laws, and outside the suggested defense strategies in the country.

Other sources in the March 14 alliance feel that the Hezbollah chief is trying to incite a war with Israel for three main reasons: easing pressure off Syria; distorting attention from Hezbollah participation in the Syrian fighting along the side of the regime forces; and sending a regional message to the West that Iran can ignite the situation in the region whenever it wants.

Meanwhile, House Speaker Nabih Berri’s press office denied a report quoting him as saying that the upcoming election of 2013 might not take place. The statement said what Berri had said was completely the opposite of the report.





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