In recent weeks, Israeli officials have warned of the closeness between Lebanon's government and its terrorist organization, Hezbollah. These warnings seem to have been realized, reports The Jerusalem Post's Anna Ahronheim, as the Lebanese Prime Minister has formed a coalition government with the terror group:
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri has joined a coalition government with Hezbollah, conceding defeat and handing the Lebanese Shi'ite terror group more political power than ever before.
In an interview with the Italian newspaper La Repubblica while on an official visit to Rome to meet with his Italian counterpart Paolo Gentiloni, Hariri said that he and the Shi'ite Lebanese terror group have “put aside” their differences to serve the country.
"The Prime Minister only thinks of the good of Lebanon, of finding the formulas and making the agreements that allow us to handle the problems of the country,” he is quoted as saying.
Deeply embedded into Lebanese politics and society, thousands of Lebanese Shi'a rely on Hezbollah for social, medical and financial support. According to the interview, Hariri stated that as premier, he seeks to find a national formula that preserves Lebanese unity...
Lebanese President Michel Aoun in February defended Hezbollah’s massive arsenal in an interview to an Egyptian TV channel, calling it “an essential component” of the means to defend the country.
“Hezbollah weapons are not contradictory to the state, but are an essential part in defending the country,” Aoun told the Egyptian TV network CBC satellite channel. “As long as a part of the territory is occupied by Israel, and as long as the army is not powerful enough to fight Israel, we feel the need to maintain the weapons of the resistance to complement the army.”
Hezbollah fighters “are originally from the south and whose land was occupied” by Israel, Aoun added.
When Hezbollah-friendly Aoun was elected in November he vowed to “release what is left of our lands from the Israeli occupation.”