Hizbullah Rejects Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri's Resignation

Hizbullah Rejects Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri's Resignation

The resignation of Hariri, or sacking by his Saudi sponsors, should sound the alarm bells for any government that doesn't want to see another war erupt in the region. It warned its citizens to avoid travelling to Lebanon "for their own safety and to avoid any dangers they might encounter".

The coalition government he led brought together almost all of the main political parties in Lebanon, including Hezbollah.

Gutterres's comments came following the resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister, Saad Hariri on Saturday. It put an exclamation point on the fact that the war in Yemen is far from over - more than two years since Saudi Arabia launched operation "Decisive Storm". His surprise withdrawal from a government that also includes Lebanese Shia movement Hezbollah risked plunging the already fragile country deeper into turmoil. But it has succeeded in killing thousands of innocent people, displacing millions, and helping Tehran position itself as the defender of the oppressed in the Middle East.

The prime minister must be a Sunni in Lebanon's sectarian system.

It is hard to predict how Hariri's resignation will effect Israeli interests.

Rafik al-Hariri was killed by a bomb in 2005 in an attack widely blamed on Hezbollah.

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Walid Jumblatt, the leader of Lebanon's Druze minority, said Lebanon was too weak to bear the consequences of Hariri's resignation, saying he feared political and economic fallout. In recent weeks, leading Christian politicians who oppose Hezbollah have also visited Saudi Arabia. "If Lebanon goes back to no functioning government and Hezbollah and Iran are seen as responsible for that, that damages the legitimacy of Hezbollah in Lebanon".

The Hariri family is close to Saudi Arabia, Iran's regional competitor.

Hariri has visited Saudi Arabia twice in the past week, meeting Crown Prince Mohammed and other senior officials. It transpired that Houthi rebels (linked to Iran and allied with former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who is partially linked to the United Arab Emirates) had fired at least one ballistic missile from Yemen towards Riyadh.

"The Saudis felt that Hariri was not delivering and that Hezbollah and Iran were using [the governing arrangement] for their interest", said Shavit. Israel is not interested in escalation in the near future, and the same is true of Hezbollah.

Iran has denied the accusation. A Saudi envoy recently went to the Syrian city of Raqqa, newly retaken from IS, to discuss a Saudi role in reconstruction. When Saudi Arabia sealed Qatar's only land border, it looked toward Iran and Turkey to fill the gap.

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