Crossfire War – Lebanon Druze Leader Jumblatt Agress to Support Hezbollah

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Crossfire War – Rapid Fire News=Tehran – Beirut – Damascus Watch – West Asia – North – Northeast Africa Theatre: Lebanon Government Reverses Decisions Against Hezbollah – Hezbollah Removes Airport Barricades – Druze Leader Walid Jumblatt Agrees to Support Hezbollah – IDF Conducts Two Air Raids in Response to Ashkelon Rocket Attack

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Night Watch: BEIRUT – “In order to facilitate the negotiation of the Arab League delegation and to preserve national unity and the security of citizens, the government has decided to accept the decisions of the army.” PressTV reports that announcement was read by Lebanon Information Minister Ghazi Aridi as the government of Prime Minister Fuad Siniora accepted not only the reality on the ground, due to Hezbollah’s easy victories against pro-government militias, but also the support Hezbollah has long received from the government of Qatar which headed the Arab League delegation. Just after the ceasefire in August 2006, that ended the month of fighting between Israel/Hezbollah, Qatar’s head of state, HH The Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, visited Beirut and openly praised Hezbollah then added he wished oil had been used as a weapon. Qatar is obviously eagerly waiting for the wider regional war around Israel that is shaping up this year in which Hezbollah has a major part and Qatar wants Hezbollah’s constant preparations uninterrupted. I suspect the Qatari delegation simply reminded Beirut Hezbollah was not established to rule Lebanon but for war with Israel, however in order for Hezbollah to prepare they need a national base near Israel and the enormous divisions within Lebanon made that possible. Therefore Hezbollah’s presence is powerful but temporary. [PRESSTV]

Beirut International Airport -I suspect this is Hezbollah’s peak since I don’t expect many of them to survive this year’s war and most of Hezbollah’s members are probably pledged to achieve martyrdom against a hated enemy-Israel and the West. PressTV is reporting Ali Hassan al-Khalil, an opposition member of Lebanon’s Parliament, part of the coalition led by Hezbollah, announced as a result of the government’s decision, “The opposition has decided to end the civil disobedience.” Hezbollah has now begun to remove the roadblocks and barricades to the airport and on major highways. Iran and the Arab League expect Hezbollah’s war preparations to continue and to use that war to remove the West’s influence not only from Lebanon but from the region. A war Damascus-Tehran are ready to enter. [PRESSTV]

Mount Lebanon – Adding his voice to the agreement which acknowledged Hezbollah’s premier position in the country is Druze leader Walid Jumblatt. PressTV is reporting after Jumblatt’s meeting with Qatar Premier Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al-Thani, he stated the Lebanese government and Mount Lebanon, his base, will support Hezbollah and the resistance. The resistance being armed groups opposed to Israel and Western military units in the region. As expected, hatred of both is a unifying influence. [PRESSTV]

Gaza City – INN reports The Israel Air Force (IAF) conducted two air strikes on Gaza City in response to the Katyusha rocket attack on Wednesday which hit the shopping mall in Ashkelon wounding more than a hundred people. The attacks hit the city district of Sajeya and killed two members of Hamas wounding four others. In earlier action Wednesday there was ground fighting between the Israel Defense Force (IDF) and Palestinian militants in Jabalya region of north Gaza and Khan Yunis in south Gaza. [INN]

Erez Crossing – Today, Thursday, Hamas staged a mass demonstration at the Erez Crossing on the Israel/North Gaza border. Xinhua reports thousands of demonstrator’s chanted slogans for Israel to remove the blockade imposed when Hamas took over Gaza last June. Israeli soldiers fired warning shots as several dozen people attempted to reach the crossing area and a number of teens were wounded. Israel is on alert for more attempts to storm the crossing and an Israeli army spokesman has warned Israel would use “extreme force” to prevent Hamas from using the demonstrations as attempts to infiltrate into Israel. Heavy gunfire was still being heard around the crossing. [XINHUA]

Willard Payne is an international affairs analyst who specializes in International Relations. A graduate of Western Illinois University with a concentration in East-West Trade and East-West Industrial Cooperation, he has been providing incisive analysis to NewsBlaze. He is the author of Imagery: The Day Before.