Israel warns Iran-backed Hezbollah ‘equals Lebanon’ after early election results

0
23


Israel has warned that “Hezbollah equals Lebanon” following the election success of the Iran-backed Shia Islamist group in the country’s election.

Unofficial early results point to the group winning more than half the seats in the Lebanese parliament.

Israeli education minister Naftali Bennett wrote on Twitter: “The State of Israel will not differentiate between the sovereign State of Lebanon and Hezbollah, and will view Lebanon as responsible for any action from within its territory.”

An elderly woman casts her vote israel warns iran-backed hezbollah 'equals lebanon' after early election results Israel warns Iran-backed Hezbollah ‘equals Lebanon’ after early election results skynews lebanon tibnin polling 4303142
Image:
An elderly woman casts her vote in Tibnin, Lebanon

It is the first election in the country for nine years.

A low turnout led politicians to appeal via TV and Twitter for people to cast their vote just hours before polls closured on Sunday.

Lebanon’s politics has been divided by the Syrian war, with some parties supporting the Iran-sponsored Hezbollah’s intervention in Syria to aid President Bashar Assad, and other Saudi-aligned parties opposed to it.

The state has also often been a battleground for influence between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Campaign posters of Lebanese parliament candidates are seen in Beirut, Lebanon May 2, 2018. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir israel warns iran-backed hezbollah 'equals lebanon' after early election results Israel warns Iran-backed Hezbollah ‘equals Lebanon’ after early election results skynews lebanon beirut campaign 4302451
Image:
Campaign posters of Lebanese parliamentary candidates in Beirut

Despite losing seats, Western-backed Sunni prime minister Saad al-Hariri – who leads the anti-Hezbollah alliance Future Movement – remains the front runner to lead cabinet.

Following the conclusion of a 15-year civil war in 1989, the Taif Accord requires that Lebanon’s president is a Maronite Christian, its prime minister a Sunni Muslim, and parliament’s speaker a Shia Muslim.

The anti-Hezbollah Christian party Lebanese Forces also appears to have done well in the election, with indications that they have almost doubled their MPs from eight to 15.

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson is visiting Washington DC to address Donald Trump’s concerns about the Iran nuclear deal.

Although he will not be meeting personally with Mr Trump, the foreign minister is expected to appear on Fox and Friends, known to be one of Mr Trump’s favourite TV shows.

Official results of the Lebanese election are expected on Monday.



Source link

Leave a Reply