Al-Hayat newspaper reported on Sunday that Hezbollah security official Wafiq Safa informed an individual close to Prime Minister Saad Hariri that Hezbollah decided to abstain from responding to political statements and that the party’s officials and MPs were given orders to end arguments.
The daily reported that Future Movement officials and MPs also received similar orders.
In a speech on Friday afternoon, Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah attacked what he said was political exploitation of the August 24 clashes in Beirut between supporters of Hezbollah and those of Sunni group Al-Ahbash, saying that “a knife was put in [Hezbollah’s] wound and twisted.” Hariri responded to Nasrallah’s remarks by saying, “I am not the one holding a knife. I am the son of [former Prime Minister] Rafik Hariri and I will remain modest.”
In a Saturday Iftar speech, Hariri said that political and media rhetoric following his remarks on Friday evening reached a level he had hoped would be avoided, demonstrating the necessity of commitment to quiet dialogue and polite speech.
The daily also reported that Hariri told Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblatt in a phone call that the PM was being targeted by Nasrallah and statements criticizing him were no longer tolerable.
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