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Hizbullah Chief Nasrallah Slams Macron, Netanyahu
Hizbullah supporters at a mosque in one of Beirut’s southern suburbs cheer on Hassan Nasrallah in November 2019 during a televised speech. (AFP via Getty Images)

Hizbullah Chief Nasrallah Slams Macron, Netanyahu

In a televised address, Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah criticized French President Emmanuel Macron for what he called his “patronizing behavior” toward Lebanon. “We welcomed [him] when he visited Lebanon and we welcome the French initiative [to rescue the country from its deep financial crisis], but not for him to be the judge, jury, executioner and ruler of Lebanon,” Nasrallah said during the Tuesday night broadcast. France is working to extricate Lebanon from crushing foreign debt that has all but destroyed the Mediterranean country’s economy, although on condition that it first enact serious reforms in its deeply entrenched sectarian political system, which many blame for the nation’s ills. The Hizbullah leader also slammed Lebanese politicians for scoring what he called “political capital” by cozying up to the French leader. He made this point while noting that Hizbullah and its allies hold a majority in parliament. During the same broadcast, Nasrallah laughed off claims made by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu earlier in the evening during the latter’s taped presentation to the United Nations General Assembly. In it, Netanyahu said that Hizbullah was storing weapons and explosives next to a factory for bottling cooking gas, and warned local residents of the southern suburb of Beirut that this could lead to a “catastrophe” like the August 4 detonation of some 2,700 tons of highly volatile ammonium nitrate stored at Beirut’s port. Nasrallah said Netanyahu was “inciting the Lebanese people against Hizbullah, as usual.”

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