Libanon-Mosaik / Lebanon Mosaic 8

Libanon in den Medien: Israelischer Minister: Wir bomben Libanon in die Steinzeit - Proteste wegen Jerusalem-Entscheidung - Internationale Unterstützung für Libanon / Israel: We bomb Lebanon
Bei diesem Beitrag handelt es sich um ein Blog aus der Freitag-Community

15. Dezember 2017 / December 15, 2017

Schwerpunkte / Key aspects

Klassifizierung / Classification

cp1 Weitere Verwicklungen / Further implication

cp2 Innenpolitik / Interior politics

cp3 Hisbollah / Hezbollah

cp4 Jerusalem

cp5 Propaganda

cp6 Mehr / More

cp7 Wikipedia

Klassifizierung / Classification

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**

*

(Kein Stern / No star)

A = Aktuell / Current news

B = Hintergrund / Background

cp1 Weitere Verwicklungen / Further implication

(** A)

Israelischer Geheimdienstminister: Israel wird Libanon in die Steinzeit zurückbefördern

Israel werde den Libanon in die Steinzeit zurückbefördern, sagte der Geheimdienstminister des Landes, Yisrael Katz, am Mittwoch in einem Interview mit der saudischen Zeitung „Elaph".

Laut Katz glaubt Israel, dass der Iran „fortschrittliche Raketenanlagen" im Libanon baut. Als er gefragt wurde, ob Israel diese Anlagen bombardieren würde, antwortete er: „Ja. Wir werden auch militärisch handeln und sie daran hindern, so wie es auch in Syrien geschieht."

Katz fügte hinzu, dass bei so einem Fall der gesamte Libanon Ziel israelischer Angriffe sein würde.

„Was 2006 passiert ist, ist ein Picknick im Vergleich zu dem sein, was wir tun könnten. Ich erinnere mich an einen saudischen Minister, der sagte, dass er die Hisbollah zurück in ihre Höhlen im Südlibanon schicken werde. Ich sage euch, dass wir den Libanon in die Steinzeit zurückbefördern würden", sagte Katz. Dabei bezog er sich auf den Zweiten Libanonkrieg, als Israel die Hisbollah-Truppen im Libanon angriffen hatte.

Der israelische Geheimdienstminister sagte außerdem, dass das Land lieber den Libanon angreifen würde, als auf neue Resolutionen der Vereinten Nationen gegen die Hisbollah und den Iran zu warten.

https://www.dailysabah.com/deutsch/naher-osten/2017/12/14/israelischer-geheimdienstminister-israel-wird-libanon-in-die-steinzeit-zurueckbefoerdern und sehr ähnlich https://www.israelnetz.com/politik-wirtschaft/politik/2017/12/15/geheimdienstminister-schliesst-israelische-militaeraktion-im-libanon-nicht-aus/

(** A)

Israeli Intel Minister to Saudi Media: Israel Can Strike Iranian Missile Plants in Lebanon, 'As Is Happening in Syria'

Intelligence Affairs Minister Yisrael Katz told Saudi Arabian media that Israel will act to prevent an Iranian military presence in Lebanon on Wednesday, and invited Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman to visit Israel.

Asked by his interviewer whether Israel views the visit of an Iraqi militia leader to south of Lebanon as an Iranian attempt to send a message to Israel, Katz said Iran doesn't need to send a message, adding that Israel knows exactly what the Iranians are doing in the region. When his interviewer asked whether Israel could bomb the missile plants in Lebanon, Katz replied: "Yes. We will also act militarily and prevent them, as is happening in Syria."

"The more accurate that Hezbollah's missiles get, the stronger and wider Israel's strike will be. This time, all of Lebanon will be a target."

Referring to the Second Lebanon War that Israel fought against Hezbollah in 2006, Katz added: "What happened in 2006 will be a picnic compared to what we can do. I remember a Saudi minister saying they will send Hezbollah back to their caves in south Lebanon. I am telling you that we will return Lebanon to the Stone Age."

"At the same time, we don’t want war, and we have no interest in destroying Lebanon, but we will not accept a Lebanese assault on us. or example, I recently suggested to Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu that we act militarily and economically to implement [United Nations Security Council Resolution] 1701 that was adopted unanimously after the Second Lebanon War in 2006 and that we apply sanctions on Hezbollah and Iran and that, under the leadership of the United States and with the consent of China and Russia, we intervene militarily if there is a need."

https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.828759

and other reports:

https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2017/12/13/israel-will-return-lebanon-to-the-stone-age-minister

Remark: For Katz, read https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yisrael_Katz_(politician,_born_1955)

(* A)

BEHIND THE LINES: WHO IS QAIS AL-KHAZALI, AND WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?

Last Saturday, a recording emerged of an Iraqi Shi’a militia leader called Qais al-Khazali visiting the Lebanon-Israel border area. The short video shows him in the company of two other uniformed men. They are in the village of Kafr Kila, which is adjacent to Metulla.
At a certain point in the recording, Khazali addresses the camera. ‘“I’m at the Fatima Gate in Kafr Kila, at the border that divides south Lebanon from occupied Palestine,” he tells his listeners. “I’m here with my brothers from Hezbollah, the Islamic resistance. We announce our full readiness to stand as one with the Lebanese people, with the Palestinian cause, in the face of the unjust Israeli occupation, [an occupation] that is anti-Islam, anti-Arab, and anti-humanity, in the decisive Arab Muslim cause. And, inshallah, all goodness and blessings to the mujahideen all over the world. And blessings and goodness to the Islamic resistance, which is ready to heed the call of Islam to pave the way to the State of Allah’s Justice, the State of the Possessor of Time [the Mehdi], peace and prayers be upon him.”

Khazali is the leader of an Iran-supported force called Asaib Ahl al-Haq (the League of the Righteous). In the manner preferred by the Iranians, the organization doubles as an armed militia and a political party. It was prominent in the Shi’a insurgency against the US and its allies just over a decade ago. Today, AAH is a key component in the Hashd al-Sha’abi (Popular Mobilization Units), the gathering of Shi’a militias raised up in the summer of 2014 to fight Islamic State when the Sunni jihadists were gunning for Baghdad. AAH has also played an important role in the Assad regime’s war in Syria.

http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Behind-The-Lines-Who-is-Qais-al-Khazali-and-why-should-you-care-518131

My comment: Israel media use this visit for a broader anti-Iranian propaganda – and for emphasizing Israel’s threats against Lebanon.

(* A)

Israel wont attack Lebanon after 2006 War: Aoun

In an interview in Beirut on Saturday, Lebanese President Michel Aoun dismissed the possibility of an Israeli assault on Lebanon.

“After the July 2006 war Israel will no longer attack Lebanon”, the Lebanese president argued.

Michel Aoun referred to the war which erupted in 2006 between Israel and Lebanese paramilitary group Hezbollah and resulted in many casualties, citing this as a reason why Lebanon would not “be able to penetrate the Lebanese fronts”.

In November this year it was reported that Israeli troops were carrying out exercises in the north of Lebanon. The move added fuel to the complex situation unfolding in the Middle East, and led many to conclude that a conflict with Hezbollah was looking increasingly likely.

President Michel Aoun went on to answer the question concerning the settlement of the political crisis, which recently broke out in Lebanon. Michel Aoun expressed his confidence over the crisis’ complete resolution, saying that “there are no disagreements between the Lebanese about [it]”. “I don’t think that those who created this crisis will repeat it again,” added Aoun.

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/israel-wont-attack-lebanon-2006-war-aoun/

(A)

Powerful Iraqi militant appears on Lebanon-Israel border

A powerful Iran-backed Iraqi militant commander has visited the Lebanon-Israel border expressing support for the Lebanese and Palestinians against the Jewish state and sparking harsh criticism from Lebanon's prime minister who ordered him banned from entering the country.

Powerful Iraqi militant appears on Lebanon-Israel border - The ... (Washington Post)

(*B)

Lebanon's economic dependence on Saudi Arabia is dangerous

Last month, Lebanon's prime minister, Saad Hariri, resigned in Saudi Arabia — only to later rescind his resignation. This sparked fear of a Saudi-backed war against Hezbollah, Iran's Lebanese ally. Riyadh has few local military assets to confront the Shiite movement but could strangle Lebanon's small open economy.

Lebanon's economic dependence on Saudi Arabia is dangerous - The ... (Washington Post)

(* A)

Einflussnahme im Libanon: Warnung an Iran und Saudi-Arabien

Der französische Präsident Emmanuel Macron hat die Regionalmächte Iran und Saudi-Arabien vor einer Einflussnahme im Libanon gewarnt. Macron sagte am Freitag bei einer Unterstützer-Konferenz für den Libanon in Paris, alle Akteure in dem Land und in der Region müssten das "Prinzip der Nicht-Einmischung achten". "Die Stabilität des Libanon ist nicht nur für seine Bewohner wichtig, sondern für die gesamte Region", betonte Macron. Ziel sei, die Institutionen im Libanon bis zur Parlamentswahl im kommenden Mai zu festigen.

An dem Pariser Treffen nimmt auch der libanesische Ministerpräsident Saad Hariri teil. Dieser betonte: "Alle im Libanon wünschen sich, unsere Demokratie zu retten." Im Laufe des Tages waren Gespräche mit US-Außenminister Rex Tillerson geplant, der sich ebenfalls in Paris aufhält. Für die UNO nimmt die stellvertretende Generalsekretärin Amina Mohammed teil. Macron arbeitet nach eigenen Angaben gemeinsam mit Deutschland und internationalen Finanzinstitutionen wie der Weltbank daran, den Libanon auch wirtschaftlich zu unterstützen.

Im ersten Quartal 2018 sei eine Geberkonferenz angedacht, sagte der Präsident.

https://www.merkur.de/politik/einflussnahme-im-libanon-warnung-an-iran-und-saudi-arabien-zr-9433083.html und ähnlich https://www.blick.ch/news/ausland/frankreich-libanon-macron-warnt-iran-und-saudi-arabien-vor-einflussnahme-im-libanon-id7702226.html

(* A )

World leaders reaffirm support for Lebanon’s Hariri at Paris talks

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri met world leaders for crisis talks in Paris on Friday as Lebanon tries to chart a path through the regional power struggle between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

The International Support Group for Lebanon was launched in September 2013, partly in response to the massive influx of refugees entering the country from the conflict in neighbouring Syria.

Friday's talks were hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron, who helped Hariri resolve the crisis sparked by his shock resignation, which he announced from Riyadh last month and then rescindedthis week.

Representatives of all five permanent members of the UN Security Council, including US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, were in attendance along with envoys from Germany, Italy and regional powerhouse Egypt.

Kicking off the talks, Macron called on the international community to safeguard the country’s unity and sovereignty. The French president warned both Lebanese parties and foreign powers against dragging the country into the Middle East’s regional conflicts.

“For Lebanon to be protected from crises, it is vital that all Lebanese parties and all regional powers respect the fundamental principle of non-interference,” he said.

Hariri warned after the meeting that any breach of Lebanon's non-interference policy would drag the country back into the "danger zone". Referring to the Syrian refugee crisis, the Lebanese premier noted that his country "is paying a very big price on behalf of the entire world" by hosting an estimated 1.5 million refugees.

Announcing a series of conferences on the Lebanese crisis for next year, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the refugee issue would be addressed at a meeting in Brussels.

Le Drian said further events would be held in Paris and Rome to come up with concrete measures to buttress Lebanon’s economy and strengthen its armed forces at a time of growing regional turmoil.

http://www.france24.com/en/20171208-hariri-world-leaders-meet-paris-lebanon-crisis-talks

(* A )

Macron: Lebanon must be a stabilising regional force

Macron also hailed the premier's withdrawal of the resignation announcement he made from Saudi Arabia last month.

"It is a positive development, one we consider essential, and I salute it," said Macron, who arranged Hariri's return to Beirut via Paris after Lebanese President Michel Aoun accused Saudi Arabia of holding the prime minister captive.

Hariri added: "The stability of Lebanon may seem like a small miracle given the many conflicts that destabilise the region, but it is maintained at the cost of sacrifice, dialogue and compromise."

Friday's meeting focused on efforts to strengthen the Lebanese army, economic reforms and the Syrian refugee influx, among other issues. Stability was the key theme, Al Jazeera's Natacha Butler said from Paris.

"The message here is that Lebanon needs to be strong, it needs to stand alone, and its sovereignty must be respected by all parties," Butler said.

"The French president said the main aim was to try to support and stabilise Lebanon because when Saad Hariri resigned unexpectedly last November, it really sent Lebanon into political turmoil," she added. "And it really exposed the fact that the tensions between those two regional powerhouses, Saudi Arabia and Iran, were at play in a destabilising manner."

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/12/macron-lebanon-stabilising-regional-force-171208110706192.html

(* A)

World powers push Saudis, Iran to stop interfering in Lebanon

World powers attempted to shore up Lebanon’s stability on Friday by pushing Saudi Arabia and Iran to stop interfering in its politics and urging Hezbollah to rein in its regional activities.

The International Lebanon Support Group (GIS), a body that includes the five members of the U.N. Security Council -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States -- met in Paris on Friday to try to reinforce Hariri’s hand to prevent a new escalation.

“Disassociation applies to everyone - inside and outside,” Jean-Yves Le Drian said at a news conference with Hariri after the meeting.

“These principles were reaffirmed this morning,” he said, later referring specifically to both Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Without naming Hezbollah, he urged all sides not to “import regional tensions” into Lebanon.

Hariri said that any breach of the policy of non-interference would drag Lebanon back into the “danger zone”.

“The disassociation policy is in the overarching interest of Lebanon,” he said.

“(The Group) calls upon all Lebanese parties to implement this tangible policy of disassociation from and non-interference in external conflicts, as an important priority,” the final communique read.

The Lebanese policy of “dissociation” was declared in 2012 to keep the deeply divided state out of regional conflicts such as the civil war in neighboring Syria. Despite the policy, Hezbollah is heavily involved there, sending thousands of fighters to help Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lebanon-politics-meeting/world-powers-push-saudis-iran-to-stop-interfering-in-lebanon-idUSKBN1E20CX

(* A)

World Powers Warn Iran, Saudi Arabia Not To Meddle In Lebanon

"It is essential that all of the parties in Lebanon and regional actors respect the cardinal principle of non-interference" in other countries, said French President Emmanuel Macron, who opened the meeting and for weeks has worked to resolve the Lebanon crisis along with other conflicts in the region.

"Lebanon's stability is not only crucial for its inhabitants but for the entire region," Macron said, praising the small multi-faith country as a model of pluralism in the Middle East.

https://www.rferl.org/a/world-powers-warn-iran-saudi-arabia-not-meddle-lebanon/28906378.html

(** B)

Lebanon emerges from crisis with Iran on top, but risks remain

Iran’s allies in Lebanon have emerged even stronger from a crisis triggered by Saudi Arabia, which achieved little more than to force the Saudis’ main Lebanese ally - Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri - closer to Tehran’s friends in Beirut.

The [Saudi ] move backfired as Western states censured Riyadh over a step they feared would destabilize Lebanon, despite their shared concerns over the regional role of the heavily armed Hezbollah.

Hariri revoked his resignation on Tuesday, drawing a line under the crisis caused by his announcement from Riyadh.

But while the crisis has abated, its causes - Hezbollah’s growing military influence in the region and Saudi Arabia’s determination to counter Iran - seem likely to bring more trouble Lebanon’s way sooner or later.

Hariri has identified possible Gulf Arab sanctions as a major risk to the Lebanese economy. Analysts also see a risk of another war with Hezbollah’s old foe, Israel, which is alarmed by the group’s strength in Lebanon and Syria.

The episode also leaves big questions over Lebanese politics, long influenced by Saudi Arabia, a patron of the Lebanese Sunni community.

One senior Lebanese politician said the experience had “left a big scar” on Hariri, once the “the spiritual son of Saudi Arabia”. “After this, it will not be easy to have a normal relationship again.”

Meeting on Tuesday for the first time since the resignation, Hariri’s government indirectly acknowledged Saudi concerns over Hezbollah’s role outside Lebanon. At Hariri’s behest, it reaffirmed its policy of staying out of Arab conflicts.

A Western diplomat said Saudi measures targeting the Lebanese economy were “a genuine possibility” at some point though the international community would likely try to influence how tough any sanctions would be.

“I think the Saudis have understood from the international reaction that Lebanon isn’t a pitch on which they are playing alone. There are other players who have interests who don’t want to see those undermined,” the diplomat said.

“At the same time, the international community’s patience isn’t unlimited. It will be hard to protect Lebanon indefinitely if there is no tangible progress on rolling back Hezbollah.”

Hezbollah’s stature has grown in the chaos that swept the Arab world after 2011. It has backed President Bashar al-Assad in Syria and helped in the war against Islamic State in Iraq.

But its role in the Yemen conflict is seen as the main factor behind the crisis in Lebanon.

WESTERN INTERESTS

Hariri has twice led coalition governments including Hezbollah despite his enmity toward the group: five Hezbollah members have been charged by a U.N.-backed tribunal with the 2005 assassination of his father, Rafik al-Hariri.

Hezbollah denies any involvement.

Hariri’s willingness to compromise with Hezbollah was a factor behind the Saudi move against him and has drawn criticism from within the Sunni community. His status as Lebanon’s most influential Sunni will be put to the test in parliamentary elections next year.

Ashraf Rifi, a hawkish Sunni politician, said the way Hariri reversed his resignation was a “farce” and a “surrender to the Hezbollah project”.

The senior politician, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Hezbollah may offer Hariri a “gesture” over its regional role but saw little prospect of the group fundamentally changing course. President Michel Aoun, a political ally of Hezbollah, could pressure the group “a little bit to be cooler on certain issues”, the politician said.

But Lebanese in Saudi Arabia still had reason to be afraid for their livelihoods: “I think with time the Lebanese will try to disentangle themselves from Saudi Arabia, but this will cost Lebanon a lot because revenues will be reduced.”

Western states want stability in Lebanon, the politician said. “They need Lebanon as a platform for observing the Arab world. They have invested a lot here, and if there is a civil war, (there is the question of) what to do with all the Syrian refugees.” – by Samia Nakhoul, Tom Perry

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lebanon-politics/lebanon-emerges-from-crisis-with-iran-on-top-but-risks-remain-idUSKBN1E11VV

My comment: There is no or at least nearly no Hezbollah activity in Yemen. – And the Western wording of „international community“ is a scam: It’s just the US and ist allies.

cp2 Innenpolitik / Interior politics

(* A)

Lebanon sets May date for first parliamentary vote in nearly a decade

Lebanon has set a date of May 6 next year to hold its first legislative election in nearly a decade, potentially transforming the politics of a country caught in a confrontation between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Interior Minister Nohad Machnouk signed a decree setting the date on Friday, allowing the vote to go ahead at last. The election has been postponed three times since the last vote in 2009, with politicians citing security concerns, political crisis and a dispute over the election law.

Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri’s coalition government, which took office a year ago, agreed on the new election law in June, but setting the date was held up while officials debated technical details and registered Lebanese citizens abroad.

Lebanon’s political landscape has shifted dramatically since the last election. Hariri’s pro-Western, Saudi-backed political alliance has split up.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lebanon-politics-elelctions/lebanon-sets-may-date-for-first-parliamentary-vote-in-nearly-a-decade-idUSKBN1E91QW

(A)

Lebanon interior minister signs law for May election

Lebanon’s Interior Minister Nohad Machnouk on Friday set up a long-delayed parliamentary election to be held under new rules for May 6 next year.

Parliament had extended its own mandate three times since current lawmakers were elected in 2009 for what was meant to be a four-year term.

A new law creates a proportional representation system for parliament and alters the number of districts from which lawmakers are elected.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lebanon-politics-elelctions/lebanon-interior-minister-signs-law-for-may-election-idUSKBN1E91QW?il=0

cp3 Hisbollah / Hezbollah

Siehe / Look cp1, cp4

(* B)

Hisbollah-Führer Nasrallah: Nach Sieg in Syrien hat jetzt Kampf für Jerusalem oberste Priorität

Die libanesische Hisbollah wird mit ihren Verbündeten zusammenarbeiten, um eine Strategie „auf dem Feld“ zu entwickeln, um Israel zu konfrontieren, hat der Führer der pro-iranischen Organisation Hassan Nasrallah bei einer Kundgebung in Beirut verkündet.

„Heute wird die Achse des Widerstands, einschließlich der Hisbollah, als ihre wichtigste Priorität zurückkehren. Das schließt Jerusalem, Palästina, das palästinensische Volk und den palästinensischen Widerstand in all seinen Fraktionen ein“, sagte Nasrallah, wie von der Nachrichtenagentur Reuters zitiert.

Laut Nasrallah werden die regionalen Siege der Hisbollah, die gemeinsam mit dem Iran eine zentrale Rolle bei der Bekämpfung von Rebellen und dschihadistischen Elementen in Syrien spielte, es ihr ermöglichen, ihren Fokus wieder auf Palästina auszurichten.

Nasrallah rief die Verbündeten der Hisbollah auf, eine gemeinsame Strategie „auf dem Feld“ zu entwickeln, um Israel zu konfrontieren. Er plädierte für eine dritte palästinensische Intifada, um die Anerkennung Jerusalems als Hauptstadt Israels durch die USA zu kippen.

https://deutsch.rt.com/der-nahe-osten/62090-hisbollah-fuhrer-kampf-gegen-israel/

(* A)

Hezbollah's Nasrallah says group to focus on Israel

Sayyed Nasrallah: Palestine Top Priority for Axis of Resistance after Victory over Takfiris

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah assured on Monday that the decision of US President Donald Trump was the beginning of the demise of “Israel” and called on the Palestinians to announce the emergence of an intifada (uprising) backed by the Arab and Islamic nations.

Speaking to crowds that demonstrated in the Southern Suburb of Beirut in denunciation of the US decision to announce Al-Quds the capital of the occupying Israeli entity, Sayyed Nasrallah asked the Palestinian people to hold on to their right and refuse this decision in all possible ways, confirming that Al-Quds is the Palestinians’ everlasting capital.

https://english.almanar.com.lb/404908 and http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/12/hezbollah-hassan-nasrallah-vows-focus-palestine-171211202950858.html

(* A)

Nasrallah: Trump humiliated 1.5 billion Muslims

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah on Thursday blasted U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

"We feel that we are facing Balfour Declaration 2," Nasrallah said. "When we understand the dangers involved in this decision, it will prompt everyone to act and take responsibility - and not to obey the voices that will be heard in the coming days. I expect that we will hear voices in the Arab and Islamic world that will say that what happened is meaningless."

"We all know that the Israeli enemy and the leaders of this entity do not respect international resolutions. This is proven. They do not even respect the agreements they signed. Their interest is the most important for them, they do not care what the Arab countries, Islamic states, European countries, Canada and Latin America say," added the Hezbollah leader.

"For those who are interested in a peace agreement, Trump fired the last bullet, and some said that Trump was brave enough to announce the death of the peace process. When Jerusalem is removed from the Palestinian issue, then it is destroyed. That is what Trump did.”

Nasrallah claimed that, with Trump’s declaration, “he humiliated a billion and a half Muslims, and hundreds of millions of Christians for whom the Holy City bears their historical, cultural and religious identity and which was handed over to an artificial Zionist entity."

https://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/239044

(* B)

Hezbollah: What’s the Fuss?

Under the guise of proxies across the region, Iran is making it clear that territorial sovereignty is not absolute, and that anything is open to re-interpretation if Iran so wishes. Iran is in the process – successfully I should add – of re-interpreting the essential power dynamics of the Middle East.

Although the conflict in Syria does not directly challenge the Kingdoms territorial integrity to the north, the Iranian threat to Saudi interests remains significant.

Regardless of Iran’s “covert” military action and political pressure in the aforementioned countries, Hezbollah remain undoubtedly Iran’s largest puppet-threat to peace in the region. Saudi Arabia has already declared Hezbollah’s aggression a “declaration of war”, and has taken drastic steps in recent weeks to curb this threat.
Who, or what, is Hezbollah?

What are its motives?

Funding
Although Hezbollah has fundraising networks across the region and the globe, as well as vast sources of legitimate financing domestically, its primary sponsor is undoubtedly Iran. Since Hezbollah’s foundation in the civil war period, Iran and the IRGC – specifically the Quds force – have played a significant role in training, funding, and equipping the group.
Advanced by the Quds Force, the Special Forces unit of the IRGC responsible for Iran’s extraterritorial operations, Iran is growing increasingly skilled at entrenching support links beyond Tehran’s legitimate reach.

Hezbollah is the greatest military threat Iran has control over beyond its border, with a vast arsenal of relatively sophisticated weapons and a strong, loyal army. Israeli intelligence suggests that Hezbollah has stockpiled over 100,000 rockets and missiles of various capabilities, however some estimates put this number at 150,000.
“Maj. Gen. Yair Golan, Israel’s deputy chief of staff, told foreign journalists that Hezbollah has developed capabilities that present ‘unprecedented’ threats to Israel. Israel estimates the group has over 100,000 rockets and missiles in its arsenal,” reported the Associated Press in April 2016.
“In any future crisis, they are not going to see a small war in Lebanon. It’s going to be decisive. It’s going to be a full-scale war,” Golan said.
Post War
In a process often referred to as the “Lebanonization of Hezbollah,” after the 1975-1990 war Hezbollah transformed from a revolutionary force, to a political group.

In the 11 years since the July 2006 war, Hezbollah has expanded its domestic influence while becoming entangled in Syria's civil war
Hezbollah’s political power has increased as a result. After Hezbollah initiated clashes in Beirut in 2008 with government supporters, negotiations with the government led to Hezbollah acquiring a significant veto power in the cabinet which it has used to great extent; most significantly, to prevent the election of a Lebanese president whom it does not favor.

The current Lebanese, war veteran President Michael Aoun, is a Maronite Christian in adherence with Lebanon’s confessional political system. Yet, his cooperation with Hezbollah exemplifies its influence in all spheres of government.
With the uprising against Hezbollah’s ally Bashar al-Assad in neighboring Syria, Hezbollah began sending military advisors across the border in 2011, and confirmed in June 2013 that it had deployed combat forces to support the regime. While at first these forces were concentrated on the Lebanese-Syrian border to counter the activities of extremist groups, by 2015 there were reports of Hezbollah units operating in widespread areas of Syria, including Idlib and Aleppo.
Hezbollah, a Shi'a Islamist political party, terrorist and militant group based in Lebanon that wields vast power throughout the region, sits under the thumb of its masters in Iran. It remains the most significant example of an Iranian proxy in the region, and has been the source of horrifying terrorism in the past and increasing tensions in recent months.
The group is sprinting towards the finish line in Lebanon, and while not there yet, it is finding regional events largely falling in its favor. It is to not surprise the region and the world is worried of Iran’s growing influence – By: Joseph Colonna

https://www.egypttoday.com/Article/2/35327/Hezbollah-What%E2%80%99s-the-Fuss

My comment: From an Egyptian website, very critical against Hezbollah.

cp4 Jerusalem

Siehe / Look at cp3

(* A)

Lebanon calls for building embassy in East Jerusalem

The Foreign Minister of Lebanon Gebran Bassil announced his will to establish a Lebanese embassy in East Jerusalem in response to US President Donald Trump’s recognistion of Jerusalem as Israel’s undivided capital.

In a tweet today, Bassil described Jerusalem as “the capital of Palestine”, adding that he had sent a letter to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas offering to “exchange” land between Palestine and Lebanon in order to accommodate the embassy.

Bassil also claimed that Abbas had promised to work swiftly to find and procure land in East Jerusalem for the embassy, and that a decision would be made on Thursday during Lebanon’s Cabinet meeting.

The announcement marks a significant step in Lebanon proving its own recognition of occupied East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital.

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20171214-lebanon-calls-for-building-embassy-in-east-jerusalem/ and also (Turkey does the same) https://www.timesofisrael.com/turkey-lebanon-eye-embassies-to-palestine-in-east-jerusalem/

(* A)

Libanon: Jerusalem-Entscheidung - „eine Ohrfeige“

Eine Ohrfeige für Palästinenser, Christen der Ostkirchen, Muslime und Araber: So definiert der maronitische Patriarch Bechara Boutros Rai die Entscheidung der US-Regierung, die eigene Botschaft in Israel von Tel Aviv nach Jerusalem zu verlegen. Der Patriarch äußerte sich in seiner Predigt am Sonntag in Bkerke. Dieser Schritt habe die Bemühungen für den Frieden zwischen Israel, Palästina und den arabischen Ländern zerstört, das Feuer einer neuen Intifada entfacht und Jerusalem, die Stadt des Friedens, in eine Stadt des Krieges verwandelt.

An diesem Donnerstag lädt der Patriarch zu einem islamisch-christlichen Gipfel nach Bkerke ein, bei dem eine gemeinsame Position zur Jerusalem-Frage formuliert werden soll. Alle wichtigen Religionsgemeinschaften des Libanon nehmen daran teil

Bei der Eröffnung des Gipfeltreffens betont Patriarch Rai, dass jeder einseitige Versuch, Jerusalem als Hauptstadt Israels zu etablieren „unfair“ sei und gegen alle internationalen Konventionen verstoße.

http://de.radiovaticana.va/news/2017/12/14/libanon_jerusalem-entscheidung_-_%E2%80%9Eeine_ohrfeige%E2%80%9C/1354706 und auch http://www.die-tagespost.de/politik/Konflikt-strahlt-aus-in-die-Welt;art315,184180

(* B)

Heuchelei um das Heilige Land

Libanons Außenminister Gebran Bassil rief die arabische Welt gar dazu auf, Wirtschaftssanktionen gegen die USA zu verhängen. Während sich aber Bassil lautstark für die Befreiung Palästinas ausspricht, steht seine Haltung gegenüber den Palästinensern selbst auf einem ganz anderen Blatt. Der Außenminister hat zuletzt immer wieder Kontroversen ausgelöst. Er lehnt nicht nur die Einbürgerung der Syrer ab, die in den vergangenen Jahren in den Libanon geflohen sind, sondern auch der palästinensischen Flüchtlinge, die seit Jahrzehnten im Libanon leben.

Bassil ist sicher ein extrem bigottes Beispiel. Doch die Tendenz, einerseits lautstark seine Verbundenheit mit Palästina zu proklamieren, andererseits aber die Palästinenser abzulehnen, ist ein weitverbreitetes Phänomen im Libanon. Das zeigte sich auch, als wütende Demonstranten vor der US-Botschaft in Beirut mit der Polizei zusammenstießen und skandierten, die USA seien ein "Feind Palästinas".

Fast eine halbe Million palästinensische Flüchtlinge sind im Libanon registriert und nennen das Land ihr Zuhause. Doch viele von ihnen leben in Armut und erfahren soziale wie wirtschaftliche Ausgrenzung. Die meisten von ihnen leben noch immer in einem der zwölf palästinensischen Flüchtlingslager – unter äußerst prekären Lebensumständen.

Der Libanon hat zwar einen Teil der Palästinenser gut integriert, den Großteil aber nicht. Dieses Versäumnis beruht zum Teil auf der Angst, mit der Integration könnte das bisherige Machtgefüge aus der Balance geraten – von Khaled Diab

http://www.zeit.de/politik/ausland/2017-12/jerusalem-trump-palaestina-libanon-saudi-arabien-tuerkei

Mein Kommentar: Da macht es sich jemand schon recht einfach. – Bevor wir den Libanesen „Heuchelei“ vorwerfen, sollten wir in Deutschland uns lieber noch mal unseren Umgang mit den Flüchtlingen aus dem Nahen Osten in Verbindung mit unserer eigenen Politik dort – als brave Verbündete der USA – vornehmen. Widersprüche gibt es nicht nur im Libanon.

(* A)

Libanon regt Sanktionen gegen USA wegen Jerusalem-Entscheidung an

Außenminister fordert "präventive Maßnahmen" gegen Botschaftsverlegung

Im Konflikt um die Verletzung der US-Botschaft nach Jerusalem hat der Libanon die Verhängung von Wirtschaftssanktionen seitens der Arabischen Staaten gegen Washington ins Spiel gebracht. Es müssten "präventive Maßnahmen" bis hin zu wirtschaftlichen und finanziellen Sanktionen ergriffen werden, sagte Außenminister Gebran Bassil am Samstag bei einem Treffen der Arabischen Liga in Kairo.

https://www.derstandard.de/story/2000069926500/libanon-bringt-wirtschaftssanktionen-gegen-usa-ins-spiel = http://www.wienerzeitung.at/nachrichten/welt/weltpolitik/934120_Libanon-bringt-Wirtschaftssanktionen-gegen-USA-ins-Spiel.html

(* A )

Dozens injured near U.S. Embassy in Lebanon protesting Trump’s decision on Jerusalem

Lebanese security forces clashed with the protesters, firing water cannons and tear gas at them as they hurled stones and burned effigies of Trump.

Lebanese security forces clashed Sunday with demonstrators near the U.S. Embassy in Beirut as hundreds protested U.S. President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.

The Lebanese army fired water cannons and tear gas as waves of young men hurled stones and burned effigies of Trump. Hundreds attended the Sunday morning protest on the edge of Beirut, many wrapped in Palestinian scarves and flags.

Injured demonstrators was carried away from the front line of the clashes, but no deaths were reported. The Health Ministry later said that eight people had been hospitalized and 43 people treated at the scene.

Lebanon is home to more than 500,000 Palestinian refugees, many of whom fled modern-day Israel and the West Bank during the wars of 1948 and 1967. The Lebanese government has never formally recognized their status as refugees, and Palestinians are barred from dozens of professions.

https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2017/12/10/dozens-injured-as-lebanese-protest-trumps-recognition-of-jerusalem-as-israel-capital.html

(* A)

Hizbollah rally against Trump decision is largest yet in Lebanon

Nasrallah voices support for "true intifada"

Tens of thousands rallied in Beirut’s southern suburbs on Monday afternoon, chanting “death to America” and “death to Israel” and declaring that Jerusalem will always be the capital of Palestine.

The rally, organised by Hizbollah, was Lebanon’s largest demonstration so far against US president Donald Trump’s decision last week to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Hizbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah addressed the crowd live via video, praising Palestinian demonstrators who have clashed daily with Israeli security forces in Jerusalem and the occupied Palestinian territories since the announcement.

“We witness today a true intifada,” Mr Nasrallah said, referring to previous uprisings by Palestinians against Israeli occupation. "the most important response to Trump today is to announce an intifada.”

Mr Trump’s decision has been widely condemned by Lebanese and other Arab and other world leaders.

“We are proud of our Lebanese unity around the Palestinian cause and the righteous cause of Al Quds,” Mr Nasrallah said, using the Arabic name for Jerusalem.

Mr Nasrallah called on the “resistance axis” — a reference to Hizbollah and its Syrian and Iranian allies and patrons — to “devote all its power and time to the Palestinians. I call on all the resistance factions in the region to unite and put one common strategy and practical plan to face this threat,” he said.

Mr Nasrallah referred to Mr Trump’s announcement as “arrogant” and pointed out that most governments around the world consider Jerusalem an occupied city and that control of it should be part of a deal negotiated between Israelis and Palestinians.

“The US decision is not isolated, it came in the context of a regional plot to destroy our nation,’ Mr Nasrallah said. “America is not a sponsor of peace in the region, it is the sponsor of war and terrorism, it is the sponsor of ISIL, it is the enemy that everyone must stand in its face and chant ‘death to America.’”

https://www.thenational.ae/world/mena/hizbollah-rally-against-trump-decision-is-largest-yet-in-lebanon-1.683676

Remark: By Emirati media.

(* A)

RIOT cops and protesters clashed in Lebanon outside the the American Embassy as anti Israel demonstrations turned ugly.

Lebanese security forces fired tear gas and water canons at demonstrators near the embassy in Beirut today after thugs waving Palestinian flags set fires in the streets and hurled projectiles at police.

The protest was against Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the Jewish states capital.

Riot police used force to disperse most of the protesters and detained some, witnesses said.

Addressing the protesters, the head of the Lebanese Communist Party Hanna Gharib branded the United States “the enemy of Palestine” and the U.S. Embassy “a symbol of imperialist aggression” that must be closed.

Protesters burned U.S. and Israeli flags.

Ahmad Mustafa, an official in the leftist Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine said: “We came to say to the U.S. Embassy that it is an embassy of aggression and that Jerusalem is Arab and will stay Arab.” (photos)

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/5107767/us-embassy-lebanon-riots-jerusalem-donald-trump/ and more: video, photos: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-42298782

(* A)

Libanon: Zehntausende demonstrieren gegen Trumps Jerusalem-Entscheidung

In der libanesischen Hauptstadt Beirut haben Zehntausende gegen Donald Trumps Entscheidung, Jerusalem als Hauptstadt Israels anzuerkennen, demonstriert.

Die Proteste gegen die Jerusalem-Entscheidung von US-Präsident Donald Trump gehen weiter: Im Süden der libanesischen Hauptstadt Beirut sind am Montag Zehntausende Menschen auf die Straßen gegangen. Zu dieser Großkundgebung hatte die Schiitenmiliz Hisbollah aufgerufen, die in den südlichen Stadtvierteln Beiruts dominiert.

Die Demonstranten riefen Parolen wie "Jerusalem gehört uns" und schwenkten palästinensische Flaggen. Hibsollah-Anführer Hassan Nasrallah hatte schon vergangene Woche zu dem Protest aufgerufen. Er wandte sich per Videoschalte an die Demonstranten und wiederholte sein Versprechen, "an der Seite der Palästinenser zu stehen". Nasrallah rief die Palästinenser auf, gemeinsam gegen Israel vorzugehen.

Mehr als 400 000 palästinensische Flüchtlinge leben derzeit im Libanon. Dieser erkennt sein Nachbarland Israel nicht an (mit Film)

http://de.euronews.com/2017/12/12/libanon-zehntausende-demonstrieren-gegen-trumps-jerusalem-entscheidung

(* A)

Film: Unruhen auch im Libanon nach US-Entscheidung über Jerusalem (LIVE)

Auch in Beirut gehen die Menschen aus Protest gegen die Entscheidung von US-Präsident Donald Trump auf die Straße. Mit Tränengas und Wasserwerfern versuchten Sicherheitskräfte vergeblich, den Protest zu ersticken.

Vor der US-Botschaft in Beirut, Libanon, findet eine gewaltige Kundgebung statt, bei der Demonstranten nach der Entscheidung Washingtons über Jerusalem pro-palästinensische Parolen riefen.

https://deutsch.rt.com/live/61947-unruhen-auch-im-libanon-nach-jerusalem-entscheidung/

(A)

Libanon: Zusammenstöße bei Anti-Trump-Protesten

Libanesische Sicherheitskräfte sind am Sonntag mit Tränengas und Wasserwerfern gegen Demonstranten vor der US-Botschaft in Beirut vorgegangen. Durch Tränengas und Steinwürfe wurden mehrere Menschen verletzt, berichtete ein AFP-Reporter. Vor dem Botschaftsgebäude hatten sich mehrere hundert Demonstranten versammelt, um gegen die Jerusalem-Entscheidung von US-Präsident Donald Trump zu protestieren.

https://kurier.at/politik/ausland/libanon-zusammenstoesse-bei-anti-trump-protesten/301.498.574

(* A)

Palästinenser im Libanon zu Trumps Plänen: "Es ist ein Verbrechen"

In palästinensischen Flüchtlingslagern im Libanon ist die Frustration groß. Mehr Proteste werden erwartet

Im Libanon, wo hunderttausende Palästinenser leben, sorgte die amerikanische Ankündigung, die US-Botschaft nach Jerusalem zu verlegen, für Wut und Demonstrationen. In den palästinensischen Flüchtlingslagern Burj al-Barajneh und Ein al-Hilweh gingen am Mittwoch und Donnerstag hunderte Menschen aus Protest gegen die Entscheidung von US-Präsident Donald Trump auf die Straße.

Auch in anderen Teilen des Landes war die Frustration groß

Die libanesische Regierung fand am Mittwoch allerdings deutliche Worte: "Der Libanon lehnt die Entscheidung ab und verurteilt sie", twitterte Premier Saad al-Hariri und erklärte seine "Solidarität mit dem palästinensischen Volk und ihrem Recht, einen unabhängigen Staat mit Jerusalem als Hauptstadt zu etablieren".

Bereits zuvor hatte ein Regierungssprecher von einer "neuen Balfour-Deklaration" gesprochen, die den Weg für einen "neuen Deal zum Schaden der Palästinenser" ebne. Mit der Balfour-Erklärung hatte der britische Außenminister Arthur Balfour im Ersten Weltkrieg den Zionisten zugesichert, ihr Vorhaben zur Schaffung einer Heimstätte für die Juden in Palästina zu unterstützen – und damit den Weg für den unabhängigen Staat Israel geebnet

Der libanesische Präsident Michel Aoun sagte, Trumps Entscheidung bedrohe "die Glaubwürdigkeit der USA als Unterstützer des Friedensprozesses", der damit "um Jahrzehnte zurückgeworfen" werde. Aoun warnte vor Auswirkungen, die "die Stabilität der Region, aber auch der ganzen Welt" bedrohen würden.

https://www.derstandard.de/story/2000069747043/palaestinenser-im-libanon-zu-trumps-plaenen-es-ist-ein-verbrechen

cp5 Propaganda

(A P)

Lebanon remains occupied

New words and idioms have recently imposed themselves on Lebanon’s political dictionary, such as “preventing a vacuum,” “stability,” “realism” and “temporary truce.” All these express a particular situation pointing to a local imbalance that benefits from regional disorder and global confusion.
The Lebanese are now merely passing time while international strategies around conflict intersect and conceal themselves, as the players wait to agree on the lowest common denominator for a new world order. Before tackling the regional disorder from which one goes to deal with what is happening in Lebanon, let us look at the confusion encountered by three of the world’s most influential blocs.

In Lebanon, people had begun to realize that the withdrawal of Syrian troops in 2005 after the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri was almost meaningless. The Assad regime was nothing but a front for a concealed Iranian occupation under the motto of “resistance.” The divisions between Lebanon’s factions were, and still are, too deep to build a responsible awareness of the need for an inclusive interest that is needed for nation-building.
Lebanon remains occupied, and worse, there is international collusion with this occupation, providing it with a veneer of constitutional legitimacy. Some Lebanese leaders, claiming to seek stability and adhering to realism after warning of the danger of a vacuum, have agreed to an apportionment that provides that cover. This is why they are now acting as if they did not know, although they know only too well what is asked of them.

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1209681

(A)

Iran dragging Lebanon into war

The visit of Qais Khazali, head of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) militia, to the Lebanon-Israel border is a dangerous development in the context of the regional conflict. The leader of an Iraqi militia is involved in an Iranian mission to ignite a battle between Lebanon and Israel.
Lebanese Hezbollah and Iraqi PMF are both militias affiliated to the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, commanded by Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani.

Iran is now plotting the same thing all over again. It has been trying for a while to open a new war front through Lebanon to avoid facing Israel in Syria after its militias were struck there several times. Iran believes that Lebanon is a fragile land; a state with no real central government. The recent speech of Gebran Bassil, the Lebanese foreign minister, was nothing but a reiteration of Iran’s speech, which can never win the approval of the majority of Lebanese people with its threats against Israel and the US.

This is a hijacked state that fails to admit its real status. When Iran dominated Syria, Lebanon became concomitant to the outcomes of the war and its settlements.

Since the government and Lebanese parties do not express their rejection of Hezbollah’s actions, we are entering a new stage of Lebanese political life, where the Islamic Republic of Iran runs Lebanon’s affairs, from its southern borders to the foreign minister’s speech, leading it to the altar of regional conflicts – by Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1207601

My comment: Saudi propaganda will not release Lebanon so early. Well, actually Saudi actions caused the real danger of dragging Lebanon into war. And Saudi propaganda shows that Saudi Arabia still will try to press Lebanon to isolate Hezbollah – and this would destroy the country’s inner balance and could cause civil war.

cp6 Mehr / More

(* A)

Reopening Syria, Iraq Trade Routes Will Add to Lebanon's 2018 GDP Growth

A London-based financial research center has projected positive economic growth for Lebanon over the next five years after Prime Minister Saad Hariri withdrew his resignation, and the expected reopening of trade routes with Syria and Iraq in 2018.

“We expect real GDP growth to pick up from 2.2 percent in 2017 to 3.1 percent in 2018 driven by some recovery in investment and exports. The latter could be supported by reopening the blocked trade routes by mid-2018 with Syria and Iraq following the defeat of ISIS [Daesh],” the Institute of International Finance said in a comprehensive report on Lebanon.

The IIF stressed that the withdrawal of Hariri’s resignation and the commitment of the Cabinet to stay out of regional conflicts will ease the political and economic crisis and help ensure monetary stability.

“But the governing system has become so inefficient and corrupt that it is no longer capable of providing basic public services and agree on serious structural reforms,” the report argued. The IIF is among several international organizations that have repeatedly expressed concern about deeply rooted corruption in government agencies.

https://www.albawaba.com/business/reopening-syria-iraq-trade-routes-will-add-to-lebanon-2018-gdp-growth-1061482

and

(A)

Crisis boosted confidence in Lebanese economy: central bank

Lebanon's ability to survive the crisis sparked last month by the premier's now rescinded resignation has increased confidence in its economy, the governor of the country's central bank said Friday.

"The liquidity to fund the economy remained available because we maintained monetary stability during this crisis and even I think that after this crisis there will be more confidence," Riad Salameh told AFP.

http://www.digitaljournal.com/news/world/crisis-boosted-confidence-in-lebanese-economy-central-bank/article/510081

(* A)

VASYR 2017: Vulnerability Assessment of Syrian Refugees in Lebanon

The 2017 Vulnerability Assessment of Syrian Refugees in Lebanon (VASyR) is the fifth annual survey assessing the situation of a representative sample of registered Syrian refugee households to identify situational changes and trends. With over one million registered refugees within its borders, Lebanon hosts the second-largest population of Syrian refugees in the region, and the highest per capita population of refugees in the world. Since the first assessment in 2013, the VASyR has been an essential tool for partnership and for shaping planning decisions and programme design. It is the cornerstone for support and intervention in Lebanon.

In January 2015, the Government of Lebanon established restrictive border policies, followed by a freeze on registering refugees. Given these limitations, the number of registered Syrian refugees in Lebanon has dropped slightly, from 1.017 million in 2016 to 1.001 million in 2017.

The conflict in Syria has exacerbated pre-existing development constraints in Lebanon, and the current level of humanitarian assistance is just keeping refugees afloat. In 2017, the funding required to provide adequate support to Syrian refugees in Lebanon was estimated at US$ 2.035 billion. As of 13 October 2017, those needs were only 30% funded. Insufficient funding is threatening food assistance, health care and access to safe water, as well as constraining the ability to support vulnerable localities in the prevention and management of tensions between host communities and refugees.

https://reliefweb.int/report/lebanon/vasyr-2017-vulnerability-assessment-syrian-refugees-lebanon

(* A)

US to give Lebanon its first attack helicopters

The United States will provide the Lebanese army with its first attack helicopters in a bid to bolster border security and fight jihadist groups, US officials said Wednesday in Beirut.

The landmark announcement came during a visit to Lebanon by General Joseph Votel, the top commander for US military forces in the Middle East.

The US Department of Defense will give Lebanon six MD530G light attack helicopters as part of its security assistance programme, according to US Ambassador to Lebanon Elizabeth Richard.

It will also provide six new Scan Eagle drones, night vision devices, other equipment and training, she added.

Richard said the assistance, worth more than $120 million, "will help the army build on its steady strong capability to conduct border security and counterterrorism operations".

Votel, who met on Wednesday with Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri, Defence Minister Yaacoub al-Sarraf, and army chief General Joseph Aoun, said the US was "proud" to partner with the army.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-5176245/US-Lebanon-attack-helicopters.html = https://www.timesofisrael.com/us-to-give-lebanon-its-first-attack-helicopters/ and how “Jewish Press” laments against it: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/us-news/is-hezbollah-salivating-as-us-pledges-attack-choppers-to-lebanon/2017/12/14/

(*B)

UK aid is a lifeline for many of Lebanon’s Syrian refugees, but we can do more with its influence

In Lebanon last month, I met Syrian families with safe homes to live in thanks to UK aid, I met girls who told me they wanted to be doctors, teachers and writers, for whom this is a possibility thanks to the UK-funded education they are receiving. I saw British-built infrastructure projects such as a new water pumping station, providing a reliable and clean water supply to 40,000 people.

British aid is ensuring that people who have fled unimaginable horrors in Syria have a home and a future, and it is helping to share the burden of their Lebanese hosts. Thanks to the support of the international community, a generation of Syrians in Lebanon has a chance to rebuild their lives.

But, as the conflict in Syria approaches its seventh anniversary, Lebanon is noticeably feeling the strain. A quarter of the country’s population are Syrian refugees. In rural areas like the Bekaa Valley, you can see informal camps dotted across the landscape, and while they only house 35% of Syrians in the country, they give the crisis a sense of omnipresence, as, in cities like Beirut, does the sight of refugees begging on the streets. Lebanon shows profound and visible signs of its role in its neighbour’s war.

While Syrians spoke of the warm welcome they had received in the country, we heard from many Lebanese people that they would like them to return home, and the country’s president has openly called for the return of refugees to some parts of Syria, despite the fact that UNHCR has declared the country unsafe for returns. From January 2017 to June 2017, 5,381 civilians were killed in Syria, including 1,159 children.

Programmatically, there is a dual imperative for UK aid in Lebanon – providing the humanitarian support required to give a future to people who have lost everything, and giving the assistance that Lebanon needs, as an ally at Europe’s border, to remain stable in the face of the pressure it is under.

https://blogs.savethechildren.org.uk/2017/12/uk-aid-lifeline-many-lebanons-syrian-refugees-can-influence/ = https://reliefweb.int/report/lebanon/uk-aid-lifeline-many-lebanon-s-syrian-refugees-we-can-do-more-its-influence

(A)

Syria officially opens new border crossing with Lebanon

The Syrian and Lebanese governments officially opened the Jouseeh Crossing to the public on Thursday after spending several months repairing the area.

The border crossing was reopened, today, with the official ceremony attended by Syria’s Minister of Interior and the Governor of Homs.

The Jouseeh Crossing was closed four years ago when opposition forces took control of the Lebanese border.

However, since the recapture of this area by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Hezbollah, the governments of Lebanon and Syria have been able to repair the Jouseeh Crossing so that it could once again be used by the public.

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/syria-officially-opens-new-border-crossing-lebanon/

(A)

Fire in refugee settlement in west #Beqaa kills seven #Syria'n refugee kids. Endless, unrelenting tragedy for these families. (photos)

https://www.facebook.com/CivildefenseLB/posts/2021636464778974

(-)

Die außergewöhnliche Architektur einer libanesischen Kleinstadt

Egal ob Flugzeug, Pyramide oder griechischer Tempel—die Häuser und Bauwerke von Miziara sind etwas ganz Besonderes.

Das auffallendste aller Gebäude ist wohl das 1975 erbaute Flugzeughaus. Mit zwei Stockwerken, 30 Fenstern pro Seite, einer kurzen und rundlichen Nase sowie zwei Triebwerken pro Flügel ist das Haus quasi eine exakte Kopie eines Airbus A380. Nur am Heck ist dann ein Unterschied auszumachen: Anstelle der EU-Flagge findet man dort eine kleines Loch, in dem eine Statue der Jungfrau Maria platziert wurde.

Wenn man die staubige Straße weiterläuft, kommt man irgendwann zu einer Baustelle, wo gerade ein richtiger griechischer Tempel gebaut wird—ein ganzer Haufen großer Marmorsteine wartet nur darauf, zurecht geschnitten und verbaut zu werden. Direkt daneben hat ein weiterer unerschrockener Architekt Türme in allen Formen und Größen zusammengestellt und damit eine natürliches Bauwerk geschaffen, das irgendwie an Lego erinnert (Fotos)

https://www.vice.com/de/article/qbmw9q/die-einzigartige-architektur-der-aussergewoehnlichsten-kleinstadt-im-libanon-563

cp7 Wikipedia

(* B)

2017 Lebanon–Saudi Arabia dispute

The 2017 Lebanon–Saudi Arabia dispute began when Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri abruptly announced his resignation from Saudi Arabia on 4 November 2017. Shortly thereafter, the foreign relations between both countries and allied regional neighbors have become increasingly strained. On 6 November, Saudi Arabia claimed Lebanon declared war between the two states, despite leaders of Lebanon stating otherwise. On 9 November, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates asked their citizens to leave Lebanon. The conflict is thought to be part of the larger Iran–Saudi Arabia proxy conflict.

Lebanon's president and some Lebanese officials believe that Hariri's abrupt resignation was made under coercion by Saudis and have claimed that the Saudis have kept him hostage.[1] Iran, Hezbollah and some analysts also believe that this was to create a pretext for war against Hezbollah.[2] On 21 November, Hariri declared in Beirut that he had suspended his resignation, and he rescinded the resignation completely on 5 December.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2017_Lebanon%E2%80%93Saudi_Arabia_dispute

(* B)

Foreign relations of Lebanon

The foreign policy of Lebanon reflects its geographic location, the composition of its population, and its reliance on commerce and trade. Until 2005, Lebanon's foreign policy had been heavily influenced by Syria. The framework for relations was first codified in May 1991, when Lebanon and Syria signed a treaty of mutual cooperation. This treaty came out of the Taif Agreement, which stipulated that "Lebanon is linked to Syria by distinctive ties deriving strength from kinship, history, and common interests." The Lebanese-Syria treaty calls for "coordination and cooperation between the two countries" that would serve the "interests of the two countries within the framework of sovereignty and independence of each." Numerous agreements on political, economic, security, and judicial affairs have followed over the years.

After Syria's military withdrawal in 2005, Lebanon's foreign policy charted a more independent course. Although its current government's policy can be considered Western-leaning if not pro-Western, the political opposition led by Hezbollah and the Free Patriotic Movement advocate a foreign policy more in line with that of Iran and Syria.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_relations_of_Lebanon

(* B )

Hezbollah foreign relations

he foreign relations of Hezbollah involve relations with other particularly Shia states, but also Sunni groups like those affiliated with the Palestinian cause; the group is also suggested to have operations outside the Middle East in places such as Latin America[1][2] and North Korea.[3]

Hezbollah has close relations with Iran.[4] It also has ties with the Alawite leadership in Syria, specifically with President Hafez al-Assad (until his death in 2000) and his son and successor Bashar al-Assad.[5] Hezbollah declared its support for the now-concluded al-Aqsa intifada.

There is little evidence of ongoing Hezbollah contact or cooperation with al-Qaeda.[6] Hezbollah's leaders denies links to al-Qaeda, present or past.[6][7] al-Qaeda's leaders, such as former Al-Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi,[8] consider Shia, which most Hezbollah members are, to be apostates, as do Salafi-jihadis today.[9][10] However, the 9/11 Commission Report found that several Al-Qaeda operatives and top military commanders were sent to Hezbollah training camps in Lebanon in 1994.[11]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hezbollah_foreign_relations

(B)

Lebanese people in Saudi Arabia

Lebanese people in Saudi Arabia have a population exceeding 120,000[1] and other estimates report a total of 299,000 Lebanese in Saudi Arabia. Lebanese people form one of the largest community of non-citizen Arabs in Saudi Arabia. In addition, an increasing number of Lebanese students seeking education and career opportunities opted for the country in light of its relatively reputable institutions across the Middle East.

The Lebanese people tend to be spread out over various parts of the country, with areas of high concentration being Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dammam.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lebanese_people_in_Saudi_Arabia

Frühere Berichte / Earlier reporting

https://www.freitag.de/autoren/dklose/libanon-mosaik-lebanon-mosaic-7

Berichte über Jemen, Saudi Arabien, Naher Osten / Reports on Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Middle East:

https://www.freitag.de/autoren/dklose/jemenkrieg-mosaik-367-yemen-war-mosaic-367

18:14 15.12.2017
Dieser Beitrag gibt die Meinung des Autors wieder, nicht notwendigerweise die der Redaktion des Freitag.
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Dietrich Klose

Vielfältig interessiert am aktuellen Geschehen, zur Zeit besonders: Ukraine, Russland, Jemen, Rolle der USA, Neoliberalismus, Ausbeutung der 3. Welt
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Dietrich Klose

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