The tiny country’s new government is a flimsy coalition of Western-backed countries and of course Hezbollah, which retains virtual veto power over the government. On Wednesday the new government endorsed the terrorist organization’s rights to keep their arms, which comes in spite of a United Nations resolution demanding that “The Army of God” disarm. The resolution is the same one which ended the 2006 Second Lebanon War.
The decision by the Lebanese government to let Hezbollah keep its arms was announced while the Lebanese army opened fire at four Israel Air Force warplanes, which were flying above the southern part of Lebanon. The jets were forced to leave the country’s airspace and return to Israel.
Hezbollah who is listed by the United States as an international terrorist organization receives regular aid from Iran and Syria, and Washington says that Islamic militants with affiliation to Al Qaeda have taken advantage of Lebanon’s unstable government and have infiltrated the country.
Hezbollah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah boasts that since 2006, the group has replenished their weapons stock and now has more than 30,000 rockets which can strike virtually anywhere in Israel.
Hezbollah members hold two seats out of thirty in the Lebanese cabinet and 11 of the 128 seats in parliament. Their strongest national support comes from Lebanon’s Shiite population. All 30 cabinet ministers voted last Wednesday to approve the statement giving Hezbollah the right to keeps its weapons.
There are mixed reactions from the almost divided country and obviously much concern here in Israel – where plans are underway to deploy a system to shoot down rockets from Lebanon.