Nasrallah: Israel behind 2005 assassination of Lebanese PM Rafiq Hariri


AFP (France)

August 3, 2010

BEIRUT– Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah on Tuesday openly accused Israel of the 2005 assassination of ex-premier Rafiq Hariri and said he would unveil proof to that effect at a news conference next week.

“I accuse the Israeli enemy of the assassination of (former) Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and… I will prove this by unveiling sensitive information at a press conference on Monday,” Nasrallah said in a speech transmitted via video link.

The Shiite leader said he would present concrete and audiovisual evidence showing that Israeli agents had worked to exploit his Iranian-backed party’s “political rivalry” with Hariri, a Sunni Muslim who was close to Saudi Arabia, in an attempt to pin the murder on Hezbollah.

He did not give further details.

Nasrallah in July had revealed he was aware the UN-backed tribunal probing the Hariri murder was likely to indict members of his militant party, slamming the court as biased and part of an Israeli plot.

His statements sparked fears of an outbreak of violence in already tense Lebanon and prompted a landmark summit in Beirut last week between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Saudi King Abdullah and Lebanese leaders.

Hariri and 22 others were killed in a massive bombing on the Beirut seafront on February 14, 2005.

The assassination sparked an international outcry and led to the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon after a 29-year presence [making Israel, if you think about it, the ultimate beneficiary of the assassination — 800].

The Hariri murder has been widely blamed on Syria, a main backer of Hezbollah along with Iran.

Damascus has consistently denied involvement.

Nasrallah’s pre-scheduled speech on Tuesday came hours after clashes between the Lebanese and Israeli armies killed two Lebanese soldiers, a Lebanese journalist, and an Israeli commander.

The speech was initially intended to mark the four-year anniversary of the end of the 2006 war between his militant party and Israel.

The 34-day war ended on August 14 but Nasrallah was speaking ahead of the anniversary date because of the start of the holy fasting month of Ramadan next week.

The above article can be found at: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5id49YOtDI549Rqg5QqvYd8vopgWQ

Hezbollah’s Nasrallah accuses Israel of 2005 killing of Lebanon’s Hariri

Bloomberg; August 3, 2010

Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah accused Israel of the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese leader Rafiq Hariri and urged UN investigators to consider Israeli involvement.

Nasrallah, addressing thousands of Hezbollah supporters in Beirut via a closed video link, said that he would present “evidence and figures” about Israel’s alleged involvement on Aug. 9.

Nasrallah has said that Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, son of the late leader, has told him that members of the Shiite movement might be indicted by a United Nations tribunal in the killing. An initial United Nations investigation charged four senior pro-Syrian Lebanese security officials of masterminding the murder [without ever providing any proof of the allegations whatsoever — 800]

Syria and its Lebanese allies, including Hezbollah, have denied any role in the killing, which sparked a wave of protests in Beirut that led to the withdrawal of Syrian troops from the country after a 29-year presence.

The US and Israel list Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. The group has representatives in the Lebanese government and parliament.

Hariri and more than 20 other people were killed with more than 1 ton of explosives as his motorcade passed by Beirut’s seafront on Feb. 14.

The above article can be found at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-08-03/hezbollah-s-nasrallah-accuses-israel-of-2005-killing-of-lebanon-s-hariri.html

Nasrallah accuses Israel over Hariri murder

BBC (UK); August 3, 2010

The leader of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah has accused Israel of being behind the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese PM Rafik Hariri.

In a fiery speech, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah said he would prove the claim at a press conference next week.

The BBC’s Jon Leyne says Mr Nasrallah is trying to pre-empt a UN report due to implicate Hezbollah in the killing.

Mr Nasrallah was speaking hours after a firefight on the Lebanon-Israeli border left five people dead.

Referring to the rare exchange of fire, he said his forces were ready to join the fighting.

Mr Hariri and 22 other people were killed in Beirut in a car bomb in 2005.

In his address — broadcast to a huge crowd in Beirut via video-link — the Shia leader said he would prove that Israeli agents had exploited Hezbollah’s “political rivalry” with Mr Hariri, a Sunni Muslim. He did not give any further details.

“I accuse the Israeli enemy of the assassination of (former) Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and… I will prove this by unveiling sensitive information at a press conference on Monday,” he said.

Our correspondent says it is the first time Mr Nasrallah has accused Israel of being behind the assassination.

Israel has rejected the allegation, saying Hezbollah was to blame.

“Nasrallah is under heavy pressure,” said Israeli Intelligence Minister Dan Meridor, “because of the coming allegations that he or his people (Hezbollah) did kill Rafik al-Hariri, the former prime minister of Lebanon…They may try to divert the attention to another incident.”

In July the Hezbollah leader said he was aware that a UN-backed tribunal investigating Mr Hariri’s murder was likely to indict members of his party.

He alleged that the court was biased and part of a US and Israeli conspiracy.

Mr Nasrallah’s speech was arranged to mark the fourth anniversary of the end of the 2006 war between Hezbollah and Israel.

The above article can be found here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-10860567

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