In an unprecedented decision, the Lebanese cabinet ordered the dismissal of the pro-Hizbullah airport security chief from his post, and instructed security forces to dismantle Hizbullah's "illegal" communications network and prosecute those involved in setting it up.
The decision followed reports that Hizbullah had installed cameras monitoring officials flying in and out of the airport. Hizbullah (and even their buddy, Michel Aoun) justified the existence of its illegal communications network as part of its "resistance" against Israel.
Prior to the cabinet meeting, which lasted 8 hours, Nabih Berri relayed a threat to Fouad Siniora from Hassan Nasrallah, warning the cabinet not to remove Wafiq Choukair, the airport security chief who reports to Hizbullah and who covered up for Hizbullah's camera installation. Hizbullah has also warned the Lebanese government that it will "resist" any attempt to dismantle the network.
Hizbullah has warned the Lebanese government against "playing with fire" and vowed "tough resistance" against anybody who stands in its way.
"Hizbullah will deal with those who interfere with the network as if they were Israeli spies" and warned that "they will face a ferocious resistance," Hizbullah's deputy chief Sheik Naim Qassem said Monday.
Qassem stressed that the network was "identical" to Hizbullah arms and "part of its security." (Naharnet)
Hizbullah is expected to respond tomorrow during a planned demonstration by the pro-Hizbullah labor unions. Hizbullah ally Michel Aoun has already called for toppling the government during the street demos. Hizbullah is reportedly planning road blocks and riots similar to Black Tuesday's, which led to sectarian clashes.
The labor unions are demanding an increase in wages, among other things. The cabinet raised it to a meager 500,000 L.L., and said it cannot increase it beyond that due to the economic situation. Hizbullah and pro-Syrian parties are occupying downtown Beirut and preventing parliament from passing economic reforms and electing a president. Hundreds of businesses have shut down as a result.