Lebanon News

Nasrallah lashed out at Arabs over Gaza inertia

Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah speaks on a TV screen during a ceremony in Beirut's southern suburbs, Monday, Nov. 12, 2012. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)

BEIRUT: Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah lashed out at Arab governments Monday for their “inaction” over the Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip.

Nasrallah said Arab countries should be working on sending arms to Gaza to support the resistance rather than just being concerned about humanitarian and medical aid.

“Arab countries are acting as if they were the Red Crescent and not political entities,” he said.

“Israel is betting that the resistance in Gaza will use all the rockets in its possession ... Arab countries should send arms to Gaza to enhance the resistance’s chances in resisting the aggression rather than just act as a mediator between Israel and the Palestinians,” he added.

“Where are the Arabs who are sending arms to the opposition in Syria? They do not have the courage to send one bullet to Gaza,” Nasrallah said, referring to calls by some Arab countries to arm rebels fighting against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Nasrallah also criticized Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassem al-Thani, without naming him, over his recent statement in which he said “most Arabs have become like sheep.”

“If you think you are a sheep, then say that about yourself only without including others ... some Arabs are acting like sheep indeed, but they do not represent the majority ... there are lions who are fighting like heroes in Gaza and Lebanon,” Nasrallah said.

He added that the Qatari premier had admitted in his recent speech before Arab foreign ministers in Cairo that some Arab countries had participated in the siege on Gaza in the past few years.

“An important question that comes to everybody’s minds after hearing such a statement is: How were all these rockets smuggled to Gaza? Who enabled the resistance to endure and confront the aggression through supplying it with arms?” Nasrallah said rhetorically, adding that Iran, Syria and Hezbollah had never abandoned the Palestinian resistance in Gaza.

Former Prime Minister Salim al-Hoss also responded to the Qatari PM’s comment and said “Arabs will only become sheep when they abandon the resistance and surrender.”

Separately, Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblatt said Monday that changes in the region could work in favor of Palestinians to end the fight with Israel and achieve a two-state solution.

“If the rightful [Palestinian] goals mean that they should continue with their struggle, that does not eliminate the need for all parties to understand the emerging regional reality, especially that what has been called ‘the conducive environment’ has largely changed,” Jumblatt said in a statement.

Jumblatt was referring to the uprisings in the Arab world whose people, he said, are “committed to the Palestinian cause.” He added that Egypt is now under a new government that sympathizes with the Palestinians, saying that the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood could “create a new status quo” even if it keeps its agreement with Israel.

Jumblatt said that Cairo’s 1978 Camp David peace treaty with the Jewish state aimed at “separating Egypt from its strategic relevance in Gaza.”

The head of the Progressive Socialist Party voiced his confidence in the victory of the Syrian opposition over Assad which could also impose “a new reality that changes the status quo and is conducive to ending Syria’s 1973 truce agreement with Israel.”

Jumblatt said that Palestinian goals include putting an end to Israeli settlement activity, the creation of an independent state, and a return of refugees to their homeland.

Meanwhile, Syria’s Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdel-Karim Ali said Syria stands in solidarity with Gaza and supports all Palestinian factions.

“We defend Palestine, which is the core cause of the whole nation ... Syria is with Hamas, the Islamic Jihad, Fatah and The Popular Front [for the Liberation of Palestine],” he said following a meeting with Lebanon’s Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour.

Mansour will be part of a delegation of Arab foreign ministers who will visit the Gaza Strip for solidarity Tuesday.

Ali said that Syria is currently being targeted due to the stances it has taken in support of the Palestinian cause.

“The Israeli enemy, with U.S. protection and European support, is enhancing the aggression against Syria and now, it is seeking to do the same against the Palestinian people,” he added.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on November 20, 2012, on page 3.




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