Hezbollah Can Keep Arms
Radical Islam in the Middle East notched up another victory recently when the terrorist group Hezbollah successfully demonstrated its power over the government of Lebanon.
For nearly two months, five Shiite cabinet members belonging to the Hezbollah and Amal movements had boycotted and thus paralyzed the Lebanese government. The political freeze ended on February 2 only when the prime minister acceded to the Shiite members’ demands to recognize Hezbollah as a “national resistance group” rather than a militia.
This was no small victory for Hezbollah. Beirut had been under pressure from Washington to fully implement a UN resolution requiring the disarmament of all militias in Lebanon. Created as a legal means to force Hezbollah’s disarmament in particular, this would have left Hezbollah weaponless.
But redefining Hezbollah as a national resistance group has placed the group outside the jurisdiction of the UN resolution and provided the Islamist terrorists with a loophole to stay armed.
Now Hezbollah will remain Lebanon’s most dangerous and highly armed terrorist group—legally. By way of reassuring its supporters of its “resistance” credentials, Hezbollah fired at an Israeli army post only hours after the announcement of the boycott’s end.
This sets a dangerous precedent for other Islamic parties in the Middle East—specifically Hamas. Watch for Hamas, buoyed by Hezbollah’s successful efforts to avoid disarmament, to exploit political maneuvering to circumvent pressure to disarm.
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