Hezbollah says resistance part of Lebanon's identity

March 4, 2014 at 11:37 AM
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BEIRUT, Lebanon, March 4 (UPI) -- Resistance is a fixed part of the national identity of Lebanon, Hezbollah Deputy Secretary-General Naim Qassem said Tuesday.

"The resistance is no longer a proposal or an idea that can be questioned," he was quoted as saying Tuesday by the Daily Star newspaper in Lebanon. "It is fixed, just like Lebanon."

Hezbollah says it needs to keep up an armed resistance against Israeli aggression. Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah last month said that defense option is needed now more than ever because of recent Israeli military action along Lebanon's borders.

Lawmakers in Beirut have grappled over Lebanese national defense. Hezbollah's opponents say national security should be in the hands of state entities, not the Shiite movement's guerrilla forces.

Qassem said Lebanon's new government, formed last month around Prime Minister Tammam Salam, should not "do away with the resistance."

Hezbollah secured two posts in Salam's government. Independents, the pro-Western March 14 coalition and March 8, which includes Hezbollah, divided the 24 ministerial posts equally.

Salam was quoted as saying a compromise was needed that would not "overlook the resistance."

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