Saudi sideswipe at Hezbollah

Saudi Arabia has blamed "elements" inside Lebanon for the violence with Israel, in unusually frank language directed at Hezbollah and its Iranian backers.

    The Saudi statement used unusually frank language

    "A distinction must be made between legitimate resistance and uncalculated adventures undertaken by elements inside [Lebanon] and those behind them without recourse to the legal authorities and consulting and co-ordinating with Arab nations," a statement carried by the official news agency SPA said.

     

    "These elements should bear the responsibility for their irresponsible actions and they alone should end the crisis they have created."

     

    Israel struck Beirut airport and military airbases and blockaded Lebanese ports on Thursday, intensifying reprisals that have killed 55 civilians in Lebanon since Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers a day earlier.

     

    Israel

    struck Beirut airport and 
    blockaded Lebanese ports

    "They [the elements] are exposing Arab nations and their gains to grave dangers without these nations having a say in the matter," said the statement, which reiterated Saudi support for Palestinian and Lebanese resistance against Israeli occupation.

     

    The statement did not make clear what it meant by the gains of Arab nations.

    Criticism of some Arab resistance movements, which act without consulting any Arab government, have been the focus of some Saudi press coverage lately.

     

    Escalation

     

    The Israeli army said Hezbollah fighters fired more than 100 rockets at northern Israel in their heaviest bombardment in 10 years, hitting Israel's third-largest city, Haifa. Hezbollah, a group backed by Iran and Syria, denied that it had fired on the port city.

     

    Arab governments have agreed to send their foreign ministers to Cairo for an emergency meeting on Saturday to discuss the Israeli attacks on Lebanon and the Palestinian territories.

     

    But the 22-member league has not yet made specific proposals for a joint Arab response to the Israeli attacks.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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