BEIRUT: Hezbollah’s fight against the Jewish state has turned into a resistance against the Future Movement, the party said Sunday in response to Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah’s recent remarks about its leader Saad Hariri.
“What is most important [in his speech] is that he honestly confessed that his resistance against the Israeli enemy has turned into a resistance against the Future Movement, as if the Future Movement has become the enemy,” the party said in a statement.
The Future Movement also fired back at Nasrallah for saying that slain former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri supported the resistance’s arsenal, unlike his son, Saad.
“Using the martyred former premier Rafik Hariri as a testament to historical facts is not right in this time or place ... Doesn't the case of the martyrdom of premier Rafik Hariri deserve from you, Sayyed Hasan, the least of appreciation, help or for you to stand by the majority of Lebanese in order for your to concede and hand over the four suspects who are all from Hezbollah, instead of boasting about their protection,” the statement said.
The Special Tribunal for Lebanon has indicted for members of Hezbollah in the 2005 assassination of Hariri. The head of the resistance group has refused to hand over the suspects.
In his televised speech Saturday, Nasrallah said the late Hariri had voiced his full support for the resistance group retaining its arsenal during a conversation between the late statesman and the Hezbollah leader.
“Months before Feb. 14 [the day Rafik Hariri was assassinated] ... he told me he supported the presence of the resistance and its arms and not only until the liberation of the Shebaa Farms and Kfar Shuba hills or the return of prisoners from Israeli prisons but more than that until a comprehensive and fair peace is signed [with Israel],” Nasrallah said
Minutes following the end of Nasrallah’s speech Saturday, former Prime Minister Saad Hariri said the Hezbollah chief had no right to speak of his father’s past.
“The protector of the suspects involved in the killing of the martyr Rafik Hariri does not have the right to talk about the prime minister's history,” he wrote on his Twitter feed.
Nasrallah accused Saad Hariri of hypocrisy for urging the resistance group to abandon its weapons.
He alleged that Hariri had offered to withdraw his calls for the resistance group to disarm if it agreed to keep him in power following the fall of his National Unity Cabinet in 2011.
The Hezbollah chief was referring to the 2011 initiative by Qatar and Turkey to resolve the government crisis after March 8 ministers resigned from Hariri's Cabinet, forcing its collapse.
Nasrallah added that in the ministerial statement drafted for Hariri's Cabinet in 2010, the tripartite formula of the "Army, the people, and the resistance," was mentioned.
"In previous governments the ministerial statement mentioned the formula of the Army, the people and the resistance." and back then, his [Hariri's] allies were mad about it. Did you take a bribe then? Or what?” Nasrallah asked.
Addressing Hariri, who has repeatedly called for Hezbollah to disarm, Nasrallah said: "You are the one [who offered] to put aside the arms issue so that you could remain prime minister but we refused.”
The formula has been rejected by Hariri and his allies in the March 14 coalition while Hezbollah maintains that it is the optimal means to protect Lebanon from Israeli aggression.
Future Movement said Sunday Nasrallah’s refusal to have Hariri as a prime minister in 2011 was a direct order from Syrian President Bashar Assad.
“As for Nasrallah saying that he refused to have Hariri back in power ... [his decision] was based on a direct order from Bashar Assad which Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah executed in Beirut along with the formation of a new Cabinet that still functions under his [Assad’s] supervision,” the party said.
“It seems that Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah was very upset by the national initiative proposed by former Prime Minister Saad Hariri to the point that he jumped over all the facts that were mentioned in the speech by the head of the Future Movement on the eighth anniversary of the martyrdom of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri [on Feb. 14] and chose bits of the speech that he considered valid material for a response and an attempt to distort many historical and facts,” it added.
Hariri has proposed a national initiative to reform the political system by creating a senate and approving a new electoral law based on a majority system.