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Reply #9: ANALYSIS / On collision course with Egypt, Nasrallah doesn't flinch [View All]

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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-11-09 11:00 PM
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9. ANALYSIS / On collision course with Egypt, Nasrallah doesn't flinch
In what was apparently one of Hezbollah Secretary-General Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah's most important speeches since taking office in 1992, on Friday he admitted for the first time in the organization's history that it was operating on Egyptian soil. Nasrallah mentioned the swearing-in of Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet, but it was clear that, in the context of Friday's speech, the real enemy was the Egyptian regime.

Nasrallah did not try to contradict Egyptian reports about the uncovering of Hezbollah's network in Egypt: "We do not deny it and we do not apologize." He claimed only that the reports were inaccurate - there were "only" 10 Hezbollah operatives in Egypt, not 50, as Cairo had stated. Hezbollah was merely trying to provide logistical assistance to the Palestinians besieged in the Gaza Strip, Nasrallah said. But he did not make do with a partial confession of the facts. He excoriated the Egyptian regime for failing to act to lift the siege on Gaza and accused it of collaboration with Israel and the United States.

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The Egyptian response, for now, is somewhat hesitant, despite the firm steps it has taken on the ground. The most senior official to mention the affair as of last night has been a representative of the general prosecution in Cairo. So far, only anonymous officials have been quoted, warning that Mubarak would not allow Hezbollah to turn his country into a second Lebanon. Weekend editorials in the Egyptian press called Nasrallah an "Iranian agent." In terms of practical steps, the past two days have seen reports of the uncovering of a rocket factory in Egyptian Rafah, the arrest of smugglers on the Israeli border and the capture of a man attempting to smuggle $2 million to Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

The conflict between Egypt and Iran and Hezbollah might also impact the upcoming elections in Lebanon. It is unlikely all voters will be happy about the affair, which highlights Iran's control over Hezbollah and creates tension between Beirut and Cairo.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1077896.html
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