Lebanese President: Threat of Israeli Invasion Requires Unity Govt

Israeli PM Downplays Possibility of War Following Exchange of Threats

Addressing the rising tensions with their neighbor to the south, Lebanese President Michel Suleiman says the repeated threats of Israeli attack necessitate the formation of a “national unity government.” Lebanon put its army on high alert late last month in anticipation of a new attack.

Israeli officials have been issuing threats in recent days amid the prospect of Hezbollah joining a broader coalition government in Lebanon, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowing to make Lebanon “pay” for any moves done by Hezbollah. President Suleiman’s Christian supporters were a key portion of Hezbollah’s bloc, which lost a close election earlier this year.

Netanyahu dismissed the entire flap as a “media storm” and insisted that there was “nothing in particular” going on at the Lebanese border. It was reported yesterday that Israeli tanks were advancing on the border, prompting even higher readiness on the Lebanese side.

Following Hezbollah capturing two soldiers in 2006, Israel invaded Lebanon, killing over a thousand people most of them civilians. The Lebanese military largely stayed out of that conflict, with Hezbollah militias engaging the invading army.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.