Lebanon News

Lebanon's Arabic press digest - July 17, 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.


Thousands of Lebanese become hostages of “friends of the army” uprising

EDL contract workers "occupy" electricity HQ as pro-Aoun activists take to the streets

Road blockages reignite conflict within the state

Sleiman to Ankara today with special focus on Lebanese hostages’ issue

Perhaps the worst thing that accompanied Monday’s sudden development – road blockages – was the raising of the slogan of supporting the army and denouncing acts at harming its prestige by retaliating against the people and holding them hostage.

This is what the Jounieh highway witnessed at 7 p.m. Monday when a group of protesters blocked the road in both directions near the Sarba military barracks in the name of the “friends of the army,” causing a real tragedy as thousands of motorists got stuck in traffic that lasted well beyond midnight.

The rush of supporters of Michel Aoun’s Free Patriotic Movement and their presence among the crowds that blocked the Jounieh highway was striking. This was coupled with statements made by Aoun that encouraged his partisans to take to the streets, a move that was accompanied by a street confrontation between Aoun supporters and EDL contract workers, has shaped the new phase of the conflict within the government, a conflict that is expected to leave immediate repercussions on the political and government path.


Union Coordination Committee: No exam grades before salary adjustment

Impotent “governments” exposes the army ... cripples the "state of darkness"

All the Lebanese need now is a daily traffic bulletin to inform them which roads are safe to take or are likely to be completely blocked in the north and the south, the Bekaa, Mount Lebanon and the capital after having lost all hope in this hollow authority, which Lebanese cling to so as to escape the uncontrollable instincts of sects and clans.

Here is the Lebanese Army being put into the Akkar crossfire. Not only that, but there are those who want the army to become a sandbag. What if Syrian opposition gunmen open fire from Lebanese territory into Syrian territory? Can the army respond to them? Moreover, what if that leads to deaths? What if the Lebanese Army decides to confront the regular Syrian force chasing an armed group in a mutual border area?


Altercations accompany move to support Army ... Aoun supporters confront EDL contract workers

Hezbollah torpedoes Sleiman’s initiative for dialogue

From Sidon in the south to Sarba, north of Beirut, including an encounter between EDL contract workers and Aoun supporters outside Electricite Du Liban headquarters, the Lebanese scene seemed to be on the brink of a great disaster under an absent government.

Demonstrators in Sarba – describing themselves as supporters of the Lebanese Army – blocked the Beirut-Tripoli highway to protest the re-arrest of army officers and soldiers involved in the killing of Sheikh Ahmad Abdel-Wahed and Mohammad Mereb in Kweikhat. Meanwhile, Hezbollah ... torpedoed President Michel Sleiman’s initiative to revive the stalled National Dialogue.


Country threatened with darkness ... confrontation between EDL part-time workers and Aoun supporters

Soon after folding the page on the Koura by-election, confrontations coupled with road blockades were back at the forefront.

The hottest issue was EDL contract workers; a scuffle took place between demonstrators denouncing a protest by EDL contract workers on one hand and security forces outside EDL Beirut headquarters in Corniche al-Nahr on the other, amid warnings by the EDL chief that the country is at risk of a total blackout.

In another move, public sector employees will hold a daylong strike and sit-in Tuesday outside the headquarters of ministries to protest the failure to approve new wage scales. Also Tuesday, teachers will re-boycott grading official exams for the same reason.





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