Clashes between Lebanese protesters and supporters of the Shiite militant Hezbollah group are putting Lebanon’s military and security forces in a delicate position, threatening to crack open the country’s dangerous fault lines amid a political deadlock. For weeks, the Lebanese security forces have taken pains to protect anti-government protesters, in stark contrast to Iraq, where police have killed more than 340 people over the past month in a bloody response to similar protests. The overnight violence — some of the worst since protests against the country’s ruling elite began last month — gave a preview into a worst-case scenario for Lebanon’s crisis, with the country’s U.S.-trained military increasingly in the middle between pro- and anti-Hezbollah factions. By attacking protesters Sunday night, Hezbollah sent a message that it is willing to use force to protect its political power. Confronting the powerful Iranian-backed Hezbollah, however, is out of the question for the military as doing so would wreck the neutral position it seeks to maintain and could split its ranks. “The army is in a difficult position facing multiple challenges and moving cautiously between the lines,” said Fadia Kiwan, professor of political science at Saint Joseph University in Beirut. She said the military has sought to protect the protesters and freedom of expression but is increasingly grappling with how to deal with road closures and violence. The U.N. Security Council urged all actors in Lebanon on Monday to engage in “intensive national dialogue and to maintain the peaceful character of the protests”
An escalation between Israel and Hezbollah has ended after a brief exchange of fire, but tensions remained high along the Lebanese border Monday after a series of accusations from the two enemies. Burnt fields could be seen in the border area and a new military checkpoint was set up outside the Israeli community of Avivim. Schools were however open and residents were returning to normal activity in Avivim, from where the Lebanese town of Maroun al-Ras is clearly visible on a nearby hill. “The war can start in a minute. I am worried it could happen,” Dudu Peretz, 35, said as he was dropping his son off at kindergarten. Sunday’s incident — which caused no casualties — followed a week of rising tensions that included what Hezbollah described as an Israeli drone attack on its Beirut stronghold on August 25. Israel has not acknowledged that attack but subsequently accused Hezbollah of working with Iran in Lebanon to produce precision-guided missiles. Hezbollah had warned of retaliation, and on Sunday it fired up to three anti-tank missiles from Lebanon at an Israeli battalion headquarters near Avivim and at a vehicle Israel said was a military ambulance. Israel retaliated with around 100 artillery shells targeting the squad that fired the missiles. Hezbollah issued a statement soon afterward saying it had destroyed an Israeli military vehicle and killed and wounded those inside. Israel’s military later refuted the claim, saying no one was injured, but Israeli media reported that a ruse may have contributed to
The long shadow war between Israel and Iran has burst into the open in recent days, with Israel allegedly striking Iran-linked targets as far away as Iraq and crash-landing two drones in Hezbollah-dominated southern Beirut. These incidents, along with an air raid in Syria that Israel says thwarted an imminent Iranian drone attack, have raised tensions at a particularly fraught time. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is looking to project strength three weeks before national elections, while Iran has taken a series of provocative actions in recent months aimed at pressuring European nations to provide relief from crippling U.S. sanctions. Hassan Nasrallah, leader of the Iran-backed Hezbollah, vowed to retaliate after a drone crashed on the militant group’s Beirut media office and another exploded midair early Sunday. Israeli forces along the border with Lebanon are on high alert, raising fears of a repeat of the 2006 war. Netanyahu has warned Nasrallah to “relax,” saying Israel “knows how to defend itself and how to pay back its enemies.” The Israeli leader has also addressed Gen. Qassem Soleimani, head of Iran’s elite Quds Force and the architect of its regional entrenchment, telling him to “be careful with your words and be even more careful with your actions.” Israel said Soleimani masterminded the alleged drone attack. Another commander in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, Gen. Mohsen Rezaei, dismissed the Israeli allegations as a “lie.” Israel has also blamed Iran for recent rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, and on Monday struck a Palestinian base in
Argentinian authorities designated Hezbollah, which it blames for two attacks on its soil, a terrorist organisation on Thursday and ordered the freezing of the Lebanese Islamist group’s assets in the country. The announcement coincided with a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as Argentina marks the 25th anniversary of the deadly bombing of a Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires in which 85 people died. Argentina blames Iran and Hezbollah for the attack. Both deny any responsibility. Argentina also blames Hezbollah for an attack on the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires in 1992 that killed 29 people. The Argentine government’s Financial Information Unit, ordered the freezing of assets of members of Hezbollah and the organisation a day after the country created a new list for people and entities linked to terrorism. “At present, Hezbollah continues to represent a current threat to security and the integrity of the economic and financial order of the Argentine Republic,” the unit said in a statement. The freezing of assets automatically places Hezbollah on Argentina’s registry, designating it a terrorist organisation, a government source with direct knowledge of the action confirmed. The designation is the first by any country in Latin America. Last year, Argentina froze the assets of 14 members of the Barakat Clan, an extended family that officials say has close ties to Hezbollah. U.S. and Argentine officials say Hezbollah operates in what is known as the tri-border area of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, where an illicit economy funds its operations
Hassan Nasrallah (Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah) of Hezbollah (Hizbullah) was born August 31, 1960 al-Bazroieh – Tyre District, married to Fatima Mustafa Yassin, with whom he has five children, including: martyr Mohammed Hadi, Mohammed Jawad, Zeinab, Muhammad Ali, and Muhammad Mahdi. His Eminence, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah’s birth and residence was in “Karantina” neighborhood, one of the most impoverished and underprivileged neighborhoods in the eastern suburbs of Beirut, he was the oldest of three brothers and five sisters.
There he received his elementary education in the private “Kifah” School, and continued his secondary education at the “Educational Secondary” High School, in Sin El-Feel suburb.