Lebanon News

Lebanon's Arabic press digest - Oct. 15, 2012

Lebanon's Arabic press digest.

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


Iran claims it has right to launch “Ayoub,” March 14 condemns dragging Lebanon into Syria crisis

Hezbollah continues to fabricate lies against “Future” [Movement]

As the whole world watched the scientific adventure of Austrian Felix Baumgartner, who jumped [from his capsule] 39 kilometers above Earth, Hezbollah continued to deepen the rift among Lebanese through tense remarks Sunday by Hezbollah’s deputy secretary general and head of the executive board.

Hezbollah continued to implicate Lebanon by incorporating Iranian politics in the region in addition to its "technological" messages.

Iran confirmed Sunday that it provided Hezbollah with an unmanned reconnaissance plane that penetrated Israeli airspace earlier this month.

In response to ongoing attempts to further drag Lebanon into the Syria crisis, former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora said Sunday Hezbollah’s aerial mission over Israel – even though it was a military and technical achievement – in itself amounts to a declaration of war.


Eight [Lebanese] hostages to be freed before Adha?

Escapees walked out of door three months ago

Probes continued into the case of the three Islamist prisoners who escaped from jail.

All prison officers and [security] members are still being held for interrogation. The prison warden, Maj. Ahmad Abu Daher, and police officer Lt. Abdel-Hafiz Fawaz have been detained on charges of negligence.

Of the 11 men detained Saturday, five were found to be accomplices, including two officers and three guards. It was also discovered that three Fatah al-Islam prisoners escaped jail at the end of July, more than two and a half months ago.

The outcome of the investigation also showed that the three prisoners walked out of the prison’s main entrance using false identification in an operation coordinated with the five security members.

Prime Minister Najib Mikati will head Monday on a one-day official visit to Qatar to resume talks with his Qatari counterpart, in the wake of their meeting on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly meeting in New York.

Mikati will likely raise the issue of the remaining nine Lebanese hostages held in Syria and perhaps call for Doha’s intervention to win their release.

Sources told An-Nahar that negotiations were encouraging and that eight of the hostages were likely to be freed before Eid Adha, which falls on Oct. 26.

They said the sticking point has to do with the ninth hostage, Abbas Shoeib, who is described as a prominent Hezbollah official.


Mikati in Qatar for one day, series of scandals to boil Wednesday over funding pay raise

"Disciplinary measures" against Roumieh prison guards

Political rage after Nasrallah’s speech

Prime Minister Najib Mikati travels to Doha Monday while the country boils politically in light of the latest speech by Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah which dealt with the “Ayoub” reconnaissance plane over Israel and the Syria crisis.

At the security level and regarding what has been dubbed as the “Roumieh prison scandal,” after three Fatah al-Islam prisoners fled jail, two officers were detained in addition to 11 guards.

Meanwhile, friction took place for the first time between Shiite members and others belonging to [Sunni] sheikh Ahmad Assir on Salim Salam Bridge, the main road used by Assir’s partisans from Sidon to Martyrs Square in Downtown Beirut and vice versa.


Hezbollah: Don’t think of stripping resistance of weapons

The escape by Fatah al-Islam prisoners from [Roumieh] jail and the “Ayoub” plane overshadowed real political issues, including the matter of the elections law.

Debate is expected to widen regarding the “Ayoub” jet with the return of Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea from Saudi Arabia, where he had met with former Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

The two men agreed to adopt small-sized districts in the 2013 parliamentary elections even though MP Walid Jumblatt rejects this proposal.

Social Affairs Minister Wael Abu Faour said a compromise must be reached on the elections law.

As criticism mounted after Hezbollah dispatched the “Ayoub” plane over occupied Palestinian territories, two Israeli warplanes penetrated Lebanese airspace over the Shebaa Farms and hovered over southern regions, the Chouf Mountains and the western Bekaa, before exiting from above the town of Alma al-Shaab.

Meanwhile, deputy Hezbollah leader Sheikh Naim Qassem said “Ayyoub” is “part of Lebanon’s potential strategy and not outside this circle.”

“There is no argument about the state’s exclusive possession of weapons, but if the intention behind this is stripping the resistance of its weapons, we tell them this is the last thing you should think of.” Qassem said.





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