Reprinted from Emperor's Clothes.
Lebanese Minister/Hezbollah Leader: Hezbollah Won't Disarm, Prefers Italy to Run International Force but France is Fine Too
BBC translation of interview published in Corriere della SeraComment by Jared Israel:
"Latest from the Insulting-Our-Intelligence Department: Hezbollah promises Lebanon will prevent Syrian and Iranian weapons from reaching...Hezbollah."
[Posted 30 August 2006]
Source: Lexis-Nexis. "Lebanese minister says Hezbollah 'has no intention' of disarming, BBC Monitoring Middle East - Political Supplied by BBC Worldwide Monitoring, August 28, 2006 Monday, 642 words
The following interview, published by the prominent Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera on 27 August, and translated by BBC Monitoring, which distributes to every major media outlet in the world, was picked up by none of the print or TV media
archived by Lexis-Nexis, whether in English, French, Italian, German, Dutch or Spanish.
Other than Corriere della Sera's unsupported and false assertion that Lebanese Minister of Labor Trad Hamadah is part of some "moderate" wing of Hezbollah - will we soon learn of moderate leaders of Gama'a al-Islamiyya, the Egyptian group that cut ears and noses off foreign tourists in 1997? - the interview is straight forward.
-- Jared Israel
Editor, Emperor's Clothes
[Note from BBC: Text of interview with Lebanese Trade Minister [sic! should be Labor Minister - J.I.] Tarad Hamadah, a member of Hezbollah, by Lorenzo Cremonesi in Beirut; date not given: "Hezbollah minister: 'We will not lay down our weapons, but we will hide them well", published by Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera on 27 August]
Beirut - He said that he would prefer Italian command [of UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon) troops] to French. He repeated that Hezbollah "has no intention of disarming for the time being, not even in the areas of south Lebanon that will be subject to the new UNIFIL force's control". But he promised that no soldier in the international contingent "will ever see our weapons; we will hide them well." All in all, [Lebanese] Labour Minister Tarad Kanj Hamadah [commonly called Trad Hamadah - JI], who controls two ministries - his own, and the Energy Ministry - but who is known above all for being the moderate face of "God's Party [Hezbollah]", is satisfied.Jared Israel: "Latest from the Insulting-Our-Intelligence Department"
In his view, the meeting in Brussels two days ago achieved "an excellent result". And he expects to meet UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan tomorrow, to reiterate "the hope that the UNIFIL troops will arrive soon; they will help to prevent Israeli aggression".
[Cremonesi] Is the expansion of the UNIFIL force not designed also to prevent your strikes against Israel?
[Hamadah] For us, they will facilitate the liberation of our lands in the Shab'a [Farms] area, and our prisoners' release.
[Cremonesi] What do you think of the formula involving alternate command of the UNIFIL contingent between Italy and France?
[Hamadah] I have to confess that we have a slight preference for Italy. We do not like France's traditional policy of interfering in Lebanon's domestic affairs. In addition, Italy does not have a colonial past in this region. But the situation is fine like this: Italy and France are two friendly countries today. There will be no difficulties.
[Cremonesi] Do you think that the UNIFIL force will be able to deploy also on the border with Syria?
[Hamadah] We are opposed to that. It would be a serious attempt on our country's sovereignty.
[Cremonesi] Israel argues that it would prevent weapons from reaching Hezbollah.
[Hamadah] Our army will take care of patrolling that border.
So, a Lebanese government spokesman, who just happens to be a leader of Hezbollah, promises that his (that's the Lebanese government's) army will prevent Syria from shipping heavy weapons to his (that's Hezbollah's) terrorist army. Got that, children?
It is noteworthy that while the so-called ceasefire agreement :
"15. Decides further that all states shall take the necessary measures to prevent, by their nationals or from their territories or using their flag vessels or aircraft;
* a. the sale or supply to any entity or individual in Lebanon of arms and related materiel of all types, including weapons and ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, paramilitary equipment, and spare parts for the aforementioned, whether or not originating in their territories, and;
* b. the provision to any entity or individual in Lebanon of any technical training or assistance related to the provision, manufacture, maintenance or use of the items listed in subparagraph (a) above, except that these prohibitions shall not apply to arms, related material, training or assistance authorised by the government of Lebanon or by Unifil as authorised in paragraph 11;
-- the agreement says exactly nothing about how arms importation is to be prevented if the Lebanese government does not want to stop arms from being imported. And Kofi Annan has stated that a) the proposed multinational force will not deploy at the Syrian-Lebanese border and b) Israel must lift its embargo, aimed at preventing the influx of weapons. But not to worry: Hezbollah (I mean, Lebanon) is on the job.
[Cremonesi] What would happen if UNIFIL troops were to open fire in order to stop a blitz against Israel on your part, or to confiscate one of your arms depots?
[Hamadah] That will not happen. The UNIFIL force has an observer mission. It can report any fact to our army. But it cannot intervene militarily; that is not its task. Our military alone has a monopoly on the use of force in Lebanon.
[Cremonesi] It has not had that for the past 30 years. What has changed?
[Hamadah] What has changed is that a political accord has now been reached within our government. Hezbollah agrees to cede its place to the regular army. The long-term prospect is that, once Israel has withdrawn from the Shab'a area and released our prisoners, our armed militiamen can be integrated into the army.
[Cremonesi] [UN Security Council] Resolution 1701 provides for your disarmament in the south.
[Hamadah] That is not accurate: It only says that the army alone may bear arms. That is a very subtle distinction. Our arms will not be seen, but that does not mean that they will not be there. Hezbollah remains, in any case, a defence force at its country's service.
[Cremonesi] If Israel were to withdraw from Shab'a and to exchange prisoners, do you think that peace is possible?
[Hamadah] Absolutely not. I have always been opposed also to the Oslo accord between the PLO and Israel. First and foremost, it is necessary for the Palestinian question to be resolved once and for all. And in any case, I am against the separate existence of Israel. The best formula would be a single state for Muslims, Jews and Christians.
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