Israel called for action against the Hezbollah terror organization and accused Hezbollah and its operatives of being involved in both the assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and the tampering of the investigation that followed.
The Special Tribunal for Lebanon at The Hague on Tuesday ruled that there was no evidence to suggest that the Lebanese Hezbollah terror organization or Syria were involved in the February 2005 assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
However, it convicted Hezbollah operative Salim Jamil Ayyash of the assassination, but three other Hezbollah operatives were acquitted, and the tribunal said that it found no evidence implicating the terror group’s leadership.
The panel did not directly rule on Hezbollah or Syria and investigated only the four Hezbollah suspects, as the tribunal can only accuse individuals but not groups or states.
Hariri and 21 others were killed and 226 were injured when a massive car bomb exploded near his convoy as it passed near the St. George Hotel in Beirut.
Israel’s Foreign Minister stated after the ruling that it “was very clear in stating that terrorist organization Hezbollah and its operatives were involved in both the murder and the tampering of the investigation that followed.”
“Hezbollah has taken the Lebanese people’s future hostage on behalf of foreign interests,” the Ministry warned, calling on the world to “unite against this terror organization in order to help Lebanon set itself free of the threat that Hezbollah poses.”
“Hezbollah’s armament, precision-guided missile project, and belligerent actions across the region threaten the entire Middle East,” the statement cautioned.