Lebanon. The excitement surrounding the UN-led
investigation into the assassination of former Prime
Minister Rafiq al-Hariri in 2005 escalated during the year.
The investigation reportedly targeted his suspicions of the
Syria-backed Hizbullah movement, which prompted Syria to try
to pressure Rafiq al-Hariri's son, Prime Minister Saad
al-Hariri, to distance himself from the investigation.
Syrian President Bashar al-Asad visited Lebanon in July,
together with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, for talks with
President Michel Suleiman on the investigation. After
previously dismissing the investigation as an "Israeli
project", Hizbullah submitted data in August to the
investigation which the organization said proved that Israel
was involved in the murder. A few months later, Saad
al-Hariri unexpectedly said that the allegations that Syria
might have been behind the murder of his father were false.
But that was not enough to appease Syria, which in October
issued arrest warrants for 33 people, many of them allied
with Saad al-Hariri, who they said were suspected of
misleading UN investigators and bringing them into the
Hezbullah track. The play was interpreted as an attempt to
persuade al-Hariri to completely break with the
investigators. Hizbullah, a member of the Lebanese
government coalition, had already stopped the Lebanese
financing of the investigation. Government cooperation was also paralyzed.
A number of people, including several former military,
several telephone industry executives and former general and
Maronite politician Fayez Karam, were arrested during the
year on suspicion of espionage on behalf of Israel. The
espionage would have been directed at the Hizbullah
movement. Since 2009, about 70 people had been arrested, two
of whom had been sentenced to death.
Lebanon has a population of 6.849 million (2018). Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited Lebanon for
the first time on October 13-14 and was received as a hero
in the country's southern region, close to the border with
President Suleiman visited Moscow on February 25 for
talks on military cooperation with Russian President Dmitry
Medvedev. It was the first time a Lebanese president made a
state visit to the Russian Federation.
Two Lebanese soldiers, a Lebanese journalist and an
Israeli officer were killed on August 3 in a firefight at
the Israeli border. Israeli soldiers had advanced to cut
down a tree that, according to the Lebanese, stood on
Lebanese soil, but which, according to the UN, stood on the
Israeli side of the border. Lebanese military fired the
Israelis, who responded to the fire.
All 90 people on board were killed when a Boeing 737
passenger plane from Ethiopian Airlines crashed on January
25 shortly after takeoff from Beirut airport.
Following a US veto against a UN Security Council
resolution and several diluted statements, on August 3, the
council resumed negotiations on a new resolution calling for
a halt to the fighting. The work was hampered by the fact
that Israel's prime minister had already stated before that
Israel would not stop fighting until an international force
of at least 15,000 men was deployed in southern Lebanon.
Since its establishment in 1948, Israel has notoriously
refused to follow UN resolutions or decisions in other
While Israel claimed Hezbollah was funded by Syria and
Iran, its own war was funded by the United States, which
supports Israel with $ 3 billion. US $ annually. The weapons
also originated from the United States, while weapon parts
in the F-16 bombers originated, among other things. Denmark.
It was North American "precision weapons" Israel on July 25
used to kill 4 unarmed UN observers in their shelter in
southern Lebanon. During the war, North American weapons
supplies continued with even stronger and larger weapons. It
happened despite world community protests. In London, on 27
July, the British Foreign Minister criticized the United
States for using a British airport on July 26 as transit for
the transport of more advanced weapons to Israel. Britain
sharply criticized the superpower's supply of one party to
the war with even more deadly weapons.
Only when, after 3-4 weeks inward war, the United States
reluctantly acknowledged that Israel was unable to crush
Hezbollah militarily, did the superpower agree to a UN
resolution that could halt the fighting without it and
Israel too much face.