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The West Bank scenario unfolds in Lebanon

Hezbollah pulled out of the government in expectation of indictment by the Hariri tribunal. The move only confirms that Hezbollah has transformed itself from a terrorist group into a political party. For a militant group, it would have made sense to remain in the government and disregard the tribunal’s verdict. A political group, on the other hand, cares about its image more than power or money, so Hezbollah prevented PR fallout from the verdict by staging a PR coup of its own. And so Hezbollah the political party brought down Hariri’s government to deflect the upcoming indictment.

We reiterate our view that a Hezbollah coup is unlikely. Nasrallah knows that Israel would be only too happy to use that as a pretext to bomb his arsenal of 60,000 rockets.

More likely, the Lebanese government will follow the path of Fatah: a technically illegitimate government continues to operate as long as a new government cannot be formed.

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Past coverage: Hezbollah
23.12 You know that I know that you know
17.12 Hezbollah aims higher
16.12 Hezbollah has to take over Lebanon