• Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah himself scoffed at the EU’s distinction between Hezbollah’s political and armed wings. McClatchy News has the money quote:
In a televised speech, Nasrallah also mocked the EU’s careful distinction between Hezbollah’s military and political wings, a distinction that Hezbollah itself doesn’t make. Nasrallah leads both components.
“A government without Hezbollah will never be formed,” Nasrallah said. “Just as a joke I propose that our ministers in the next government be from the military wing of Hezbollah.”
But in keeping with his reputation as Lebanon’s most skilled, and often wry, orator, Nasrallah’s joke was received by many as doubly amusing – or ominous – because the group already considers its members of Parliament and ministers to be the political representatives of a military organization.
• Behind the scenes, Canada lobbied the EU to slap the terror label on Hezbollah, reports the National Post.
• A Syrian rocket attack on the Yarmouk refugee camp killed 15 Palestinians. More on the story at the Jerusalem Post. Earlier this week, 22 Palestinians were killed when the army used chemical weapons in the refugee camp. The Palestinians aren’t blame-free though. Maan News reports that the PLO is talking to Damascus about “disarming and pacifying” the refugee camps in Syria.
• According to Syrian rebels, Hezbollah has buried hundreds of its own dead people in mass graves in Syria. The Times of Israel writes:
“These graveyards serve two purposes,” Ghazlan explained. “The first is not to scare the families of victims and thus avoid strong reactions in Lebanese public opinion, and the second is to hide the true extent of casualties from the fighters and rebels in Syria.”
• Displeased with the Egyptian military’s transition to democracy the US suspended its sale of F-16 fighter jets to Egypt. NY Times coverage suffices:
The jet fighters have little role in Egypt’s domestic unrest, and Egypt is not facing an imminent external threat that would require adding four more warplanes into its security forces, said one Pentagon official. The greatest blow might be to the pride of the Egyptian military. . .
Pentagon officials also noted that while the F-16 shipment was halted, other military-to-military cooperation remained.
• For more commentary/analysis, see Con Coughlin.
Iranian Atomic Urgency
• YNet: Canadian authorities caught an Iranian family of seven trying to immigrate using stolen Israeli passports:
A quick review revealed that the passports in the family’s possession were either stolen or lost in the past to real Israeli citizens, and fabricated in accordance to the clients’ details.
The family arrived in Vancouver from a third country and is expected to request asylum.
(Image of Nasrallah via YouTube/almommahed)
For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream.