Lebanon’s PM blasts Hezbollah: ‘They’re a regional problem’

Lebanon’s Saad Hariri said of the terror group’s recent missile attack on Israel, “I do not agree with Hezbollah on these actions”

By World Israel News Staff

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri sharply criticized Hezbollah on Tuesday in a CNBC interview, saying, “Hezbollah is not a Lebanese problem only. It’s a regional problem.”

Given the strength of the terror group in Lebanon and the risks run by those who dare attack it, Hariri’s comments were unprecedented. His own father, Rafic Hariri, who also served as Lebanon’s prime minister, was assassinated by the terror group in 2005.

Hariri’s comments may have in part been motivated by a desire to distance his country from responsibility for the terror group’s actions following a warning by Israel’s government that Lebanon would be held responsible for Hezbollah.

Hariri told the CNBC interviewer, “This scenario – Lebanon is responsible… what Netanyahu says… You want to buy it, go ahead, buy it. We do not agree with Hezbollah on these actions. I do not agree with Hezbollah on these actions.”

The Lebanese prime minister said that there were limits to his country’s ability to rein in the terror group. “It’s not my fault that Hezbollah became this strong,” Hariri said.

But he also said that Hezbollah is not running Lebanon’s government.

Tensions between Israel and Hezbollah have risen since August when Israel admitted destroying a Hezbollah squad about to carry out a drone attack. They culminated in a Hezbollah missile strike that narrowly missed an Israeli Army vehicle on Sunday. Hezbollah promises to carry out a second attack, reports say.

Prior to the attack, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent a cautionary note to Hezbollah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah which also included Lebanon.

“I want to say to him and the Lebanese state, which is hosting this organization that aims to destroy us… Be careful about your words, and even more cautious about your actions,” the prime minister said.

When Nasrallah threatened Israel again on Monday, Israel’s Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz repeated the warning, saying Israel “will view the State of Lebanon as responsible.”

Lebanon suffered significant damage in the First (1982) and Second (2006) Lebanon wars as Israel was forced to counter terror groups working from within the former’s borders.