Hezbollah leader calls UN tribunal an "Israeli project"
The leader of the pro-Iranian Hezbollah movement, Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah, said Friday that a UN tribunal set up to try suspects in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese premier Rafik Hariri was an "Israeli project", dpa reported.
"The Israelis are helpless in confronting the resistance (Hezbollah) ... so they are betting on another Israeli project called the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL)," Nasrallah said in speech honoring those who fell during the July 2006 war against Israel.
Israel launched the 33-day attack against Lebanon after Hezbollah militants snatched two Istraeli soldiers in a cross-border raid.
"The Israelis are waiting for the STL decisions to cause an uproar in Lebanon ..." Nasrallah said.
The Hague-based tribunal, set up by the UN Security Council in 2007, has summoned 12 Hezbollah members or supporters as witnesses.
Hariri was killed in car bomb blast along with 20 other people in Beirut on February 14, 2005. His followers blamed Syria and its allies in Lebanon, but Damascus has denied any link to the attack.
Press reports over the past year said that the UN court was getting ready to accuse Hezbollah members in the assassination, but tribunal officials dismissed this as "speculation."
The Hezbollah leader said Lebanon recently uncovered a spy network working for Israel that controlled the telecommunictaion system in Lebanon since the July 2006 war.
Last month, a technician at the Alfa-mobile company was arrested on charges of "collaborating with Israel and providing it with information." Another Alfa employee was arrested this week.
Telecommunications Minister Charbel Nahas has described the suspected spying operation as "the most dangerous in the history of Lebanon."
Nasrallah told his followers, "there is no doubt that Israel has complete control over telecommunications in Lebanon, including wireless communication networks and the internet."
Lebanon and Israel remain technically in a state of war, and convicted spies face life in prison with hard labour, or the death penalty.
Nasrallah called for the death penalty to be applied to such agents.
Since April 2009, Lebanon has arrested more than 70 people on suspicion of spying for Israel, among them retired Lebanese army officials.
Israel has so far not commented on the arrests.