Giovanni Giacalone
Eyes everywhere

The Lebanese PM attacks Israel, but the real problem is Hezbollah and he knows

Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati. Source: Wikipedia. Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law.

The statements released on Saturday by the Lebanese Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, highlight the dangerous position that Beirut’s government has taken concerning the ongoing escalation on the border with Israel. The Iranian proxy, Hezbollah, is trying to drag Lebanon into a war with Israel through continuous and systematic attacks against Israeli urban areas in the north but, evidently, the Lebanese PM sees things differently.

Firstly, Mikati stated that Israel must stop its military campaign in Gaza and cease the attacks against Hezbollah in southern Lebanon.

Secondly, he claimed that the Lebanese government advocates peace and asked for the implementation of the UN Resolution 1701 calling for a demilitarized zone between the Blue Line on Israel’s border and the areas of Lebanon south of the Litani River.

Mikati then stated: “We are with our people”, and: “The resistance is doing its duty, the Lebanese government is doing its duty, and our goal is to protect the country in every sense of the word.”

It is interesting how Mikati is calling for peace while at the same time praising what he defines as “resistance doing its duty”. This “resistance is indeed Hezbollah.

The people of Lebanon should be protected from Hezbollah, and the duty of the Lebanese government should be to eradicate foreign proxies, such as Hezbollah, from its territory. Easier said than done of course, since Hezbollah’s armed and intel structures are much more powerful than the Lebanese ones. Mikati should ask himself if “his people” are happy and feel safe with Hezbollah calling the shots in Lebanon. Indeed, the answer is quite obvious.

According to the Lebanese PM, Israel should cease all counter-terror operations in Gaza to wipe out Hamas and it should stop defending itself and its citizens against Hezbollah’s systematic attacks. Let’s recall that, due to these attacks, over 22,000 Israelis are currently displaced from the north. Still, we do not recall Mikati criticizing this and ordering Hezbollah to stop these terror attacks.

The Israeli military has repeatedly argued that Hezbollah’s activities in this area are in violation of the UN resolution.

Indeed, it’s not just Hezbollah. Several Palestinian terror leaders were and still are hiding in Lebanon. In January 2024, the IDF eliminated Hamas top official Saleh el-Arouri with a drone strike in south Beirut.

Mounir al-Maqdah, commander of the al-Aqsa Brigades, is also hiding in southern Lebanon and he was constantly communicating with a terror cell located in central Italy which was planning attacks on Israeli settlements; the cell was led by Yaesh Anan, who was detained by the Italian authorities in January 2024 on Israel’s request.

Mikati should worry more about the Iranian interference in Lebanon through its proxy, Hezbollah, because that is the real threat to the Lebanese people and peace. Indeed, the Lebanese PM is well aware of it and still, he refers to Hezbollah as “resistance.

About the Author
Giovanni Giacalone is a senior analyst in Islamist extremism and terrorism at the Italian Team for Security, Terroristic Issues and Managing Emergencies-Catholic University of Milan, at the Europe desk for the UK-based think tank Islamic Theology of Counter-Terrorism, and a researcher for Centro Studi Machiavelli. Since 2021 he is the coordinator for the "Latin America group" at the International Institute for the Study of Security-ITSS. In 2023 Giacalone published the book “The Tablighi Jamaat in Europe”.
Related Topics
Related Posts