I watched today the long awaited press conference by Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, in which the Secretary-General of Hezbollah, was supposed to reveal “a secret” about a supposed involvement of Israel in the assassination of Rafik Hariri, the former Lebanese Prime Minister, killed in 2005, when a huge explosion ripped through his motorcade in broad day light in downtown Beirut.
Was there any evidence in Nasrallah’s talk?
Apart from the impressive James-Bond-like TV production that accompanied the Sayyed’s presentation, expectedly, no direct evidence was presented to link Israel to the assassination. We watched a video interview recorded by Hezbollah showing what Nasrallah says were “confessions by an Israeli agent” allegedly admitting he worked to set Hariri’s security apparatus against Hezbollah. Later on a video footage was aired showing feeds recorded in 1997, intercepted from Israeli reconnaissance drones filmed in southern Lebanon. A material Nasrallah says was used 2 ambush Israelis. Yediot Ahronot remembers:
The disastrous raid, in which 12 commando soldiers were killed, is known as the ‘Shayetet catastrophe’
Then Nasrallah aired intercepted Israeli reconnaissance drones’ images taken over Beirut he says were “following the movements of Hariri’s motorcade”. He then concluded that “the blood of Hariri was eventually used to draw Syria out of Lebanon and weaken the resistance”.
The whole episode was for many (in the Twittosphere at least) a matter for disappointment. Was it a clever move? Nasrallah admitted he “never pretended to present direct evidence but rather open new horizons for the investigation”, and to those who might argue that he only offered circumstantial evidence, he basically says: “how much coincidence is too much”. Nasrallah is basically putting pressure on the Special Tribunal for Lebanon now investigating the death of Hariri ahead of its much expected conclusions, but the way the so-called evidence was presented ultimately creates more confusion than it clears the tensions and, more importantly I guess, it ultimately plays in the hands of Israel in my humble opinion.