Lebanon: Hezbollah Calls for Election of a President Capable of Leading Dialogue on Arms

Seven successive parliamentary sessions have failed to elect a new president in light of deep divisions among the different political blocs. (Photo: EPA)
Seven successive parliamentary sessions have failed to elect a new president in light of deep divisions among the different political blocs. (Photo: EPA)
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Lebanon: Hezbollah Calls for Election of a President Capable of Leading Dialogue on Arms

Seven successive parliamentary sessions have failed to elect a new president in light of deep divisions among the different political blocs. (Photo: EPA)
Seven successive parliamentary sessions have failed to elect a new president in light of deep divisions among the different political blocs. (Photo: EPA)

Lebanon’s Hezbollah party called for holding dialogue over its weapons, and for the election of a president, “who has the ability” to carry out economic rescue efforts and to discuss the country’s defense strategy with the participation of all Lebanese components.

Seven successive parliamentary sessions have failed to elect a new president for the crisis-hit nation, in light of deep divisions among the different political blocs. The tenure of former President Michel Aoun ended on October 31.

The Shiite duo, represented by Hezbollah and the Amal Movement, are pushing for the nomination of Marada Party leader Sleiman Franjieh, who is rejected by Hezbollah’s ally, the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM).

On the other hand, the Lebanese Forces, the Progressive Socialist Party, the Kataeb and a number of independent deputies are voting in favor of MP Michel Moawad.

Amid the sharp divergence between the Shiite duo and the FPM over Franjieh’s nomination, the three parties resorted, over the previous sessions, to cast a blank vote.

Hezbollah’s Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem said on Friday: “If the Resistance is a point of contention, then refer it to dialogue and let us bring in a president, who has the ability to conduct rescue work with the participation of all the Lebanese on the economic file, and who can manage a dialogue session… to discuss the defense strategy…”

Qassem stressed that the election of a president was necessary to address the economic and social crisis.

"The mandatory way for the start of reforms and for saving Lebanon is the election of a president,” he said.

Meanwhile, Moawad met on Friday with British Ambassador Hamish Cowell, with whom he discussed the latest developments.

Moawad’s media office said that the talks with Cowell emphasized the need to respect the constitutional obligations, the first of which is the election of a new head of state and the implementation of reforms to put the country on the path of recovery.”



Israel Pounds Central Gaza Camps, Deepens Invasion of Rafah

A view of a damaged building, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, at the Rafah Crossing, Gaza, in this screengrab obtained from a social media video released on June 19, 2024. Doron Kadosh, Glz/via REUTERS
A view of a damaged building, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, at the Rafah Crossing, Gaza, in this screengrab obtained from a social media video released on June 19, 2024. Doron Kadosh, Glz/via REUTERS
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Israel Pounds Central Gaza Camps, Deepens Invasion of Rafah

A view of a damaged building, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, at the Rafah Crossing, Gaza, in this screengrab obtained from a social media video released on June 19, 2024. Doron Kadosh, Glz/via REUTERS
A view of a damaged building, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, at the Rafah Crossing, Gaza, in this screengrab obtained from a social media video released on June 19, 2024. Doron Kadosh, Glz/via REUTERS

Israeli forces pounded areas in the central Gaza Strip overnight, killing three people and wounding dozens of others, according to medics, while tanks deepened their invasion into Rafah in the south, residents said.
Israeli planes struck a house in Al-Nuseirat camp, killing two people and wounding 12 others, while tanks shelled areas in Al-Maghazi and Al-Bureij camps, wounding many other people, health officials said, according to Reuters. Nuseirat, Maghazi, and Bureij are three of Gaza's eight historic refugee camps.
In Deir al-Balah, a city packed with displaced people in the central Gaza Strip, an Israeli airstrike killed one Palestinian and wounded several others on Thursday, medics said.
The Israeli military said on Wednesday forces were continuing their operations across the enclave targeting militants and military infrastructure in what it described as "precise, intelligence-based" activities.
More than eight months into the war in Gaza, Israel's advance is now focused on the two last areas its forces had yet to storm: Rafah on Gaza's southern edge and the area surrounding Deir al-Balah in the center. The operations have forced more than a million people to flee since May, the vast majority already displaced from other parts of the enclave.
In Rafah, near the border with Egypt, Israeli tanks stationed deep in the western and central areas of the city stepped up bombardment, forcing more families living in the far coastal areas to flee northward. Some residents said the pace of the raid has been accelerated in the past two days.
"The tanks took control of most of the areas in Rafah. People living by the beach have also started to leave toward Khan Younis and central areas in fear because of the continued bombardment," said Abu Wasim, a resident from Rafah's Al-Shaboura neighborhood, who quit his home over a week ago before tanks rolled in reaching the heart of the city.
Rafah housed over half of Gaza's 2.3 million people until May 7 when Israeli forces began the ground offensive into the city. Fewer than 100,000 are now believed to be left behind.
There has been no sign of let-up in the fighting as efforts by international mediators, backed by the United States, have failed to persuade Israel and Hamas to agree to a ceasefire.
The armed wings of Hamas and Islamic Jihad said fighters battled Israeli forces with anti-tank rockets and mortar bombs, and have in some areas detonated pre-planted explosive devices against army units.
On Thursday, Israeli authorities freed 33 Palestinians who had been detained during the past months by Israeli forces in different areas of the enclave. The freed detainees were admitted into Al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir Al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip after they complained of torture and mistreatment by Israeli jailers.