Israel warned UNIFIL of conflict, Lebanon MP says

Future bloc MP Jean Ogassapian on Saturday warned that Israel told UN peacekeeping forces in South Lebanon to “take precautions” amid growing fears of a regional conflict following an Israel strike in Syria at the end of January.


“There are dangers of an Israeli strike against Lebanon. There is information that Israel told UNIFIL to take precautions,” Ogassapian said in an interview with MTV.


“This warning should be linked to the smuggling of arms from Syria to Lebanon,” he continued.


Israeli jets conducted a bombing raid in Syria in late January, with Damascus saying a research facility was hit, while Western media reports said the Jewish State hit a convoy headed to Lebanon.


Tel Aviv has expressed concern about Syria's stockpile of chemical weapons and advanced weaponry falling into the hands of Lebanon's Shiite Hezbollah group, a staunch ally of the regime in Damascus.


Ogassapian voiced his rejection of “any weapons [in reference to Hezbollah’s military arsenal] other than the Lebanese Armed Forces’ weapons.”


Regarding the issue of Future Movement leader MP Saad Hariri’s political initiative, the MP said that “its importance resides in the guarantees it provides as a package. It loses its value if divided.”


Lebanon’s political circles are currently debating prospective electoral law proposals that can be adopted for the upcoming parliamentary elections.

Disagreement over the issues has hit the March 14 alliance after its main political party, the Future Movement, voiced its opposition to electoral laws based on proportional voting, while Lebanon’s four major Christian parties—Future Movement’s allies the Lebanese Forces and Kataeb—have expressed support for the Orthodox Gathering law, which calls for proportional voting along sectarian lines.

Last Thursday, the Future Movement leader announced a four-point political initiative, which included organizing the elections on time according to a law based on small constituencies and establishing a senate representing all sects as defined by the Taif Accord.

This warning should be linked to the smuggling of arms from Syria to Lebanon.