Murr denies WikiLeak's allegations
Murr denies WikiLeak's allegations of providing advice of Israel to destroy Hezbollah
Ahram Online, Friday 3 Dec 2010
Reuters: Lebanon's Defence Minister Elias al-Murr (L) speaks to Commander Jean Kahwaji during an army drill in Roumiyeh, north of Beirut, August 14, 2010.
Lebanon's defense minister Elias Murr denied having provided Israel with advice on destroying Hezbollah, an aid said on Friday.
"The information posted by WikiLeaks is not complete and is not accurate," said Murr aide George Soulage to AFP. "The aim behind this is to sow discord in Lebanon."
Soulage said that the minister did meet with the US ambassador in 2008, but the cable published in the Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar did not properly reflect the tenor of their conversation.
"The cable does not reflect the truth about what happened during the meeting and it has no value," he told AFP.
WikiLeaks have alleged that Lebanon’s defense minister offered advice to Israel in relation to defeating Hezbollah should a new war erupt on Lebanon’s southern border.
According to the documents released by WikiLeaks, Murr told the US embassy in Beirut that Israel should avoid antagonising local Christian communities in any future scenario similar to the Israeli aggression in 2006.
"Israel cannot bomb bridges and infrastructure in the Christian areas," Murr was quoted in the Israeli daily Haaretz as saying in the cable, sent by a US diplomat to the State Department in Washington. "The Christians were supporting Israel in 2006, until they started bombing their bridges".
In the month-long Israeli war on Lebanon in 2006, troops invaded the south and bombed targets as far as Beirut.
Murr also said that Israel should not invade buffer zones controlled by the UN, adding that Hezbollah would use any violation of UNSC resolution 1701 to “flood” the area with fighters.
Murr reportedly told the US diplomat that Hezbollah was less confident of resisting another Israeli attack, despite its victory.
Israel and Lebanon classify each other as enemies but Murr said that if war was to break out his main concern would be to exclude the Lebanese army from fighting.
According to WikiLeaks, any Israeli aggression against Hezbollah would not constitute a war on Lebanon and therefore the Lebanese army should not get involved.
Murr was quoted in Haaretz saying, “I do not want thousands of our soldiers to die for no reason.”