The continuing violence in Lebanon seems to be forcing the situation there to a head:
June 24, 2005
Lebanon’s anti-Syrian coalition urges president to resign
Lebanon’s anti-Syrian coalition on Thursday accused President Emile Lahoud of being responsible for a series of political assassinations and urged him to resign.
“The gathering affirms … that the president is providing protection for the existing system and is responsible for all its practices,” said a statement by the coalition, which makes up the majority in parliament. “The president’s departure would be a main path to law and justice,” it added.
Emile Lahoud had reportedly said earlier that he would not resign in his presidential term, which was extended last year until 2007. The demand for him to end his presidency goes against the constitution, he said.
The existing system is behind a series of assassinations, including the most recent of former Communist leader Georges Hawi and anti-Syrian journalist Samir Kassir, argued parliamentary members from the anti-Syrian coalition, who called for international investigations into the killings.
Hawi was killed by a car bomb on Tuesday while Samir Kassir was killed when his car exploded on June 2. Former prime minister Rafiq Hariri was assassinated in a February attack on the Beirut seafront.
Led by Saad Hariri, son of the slain ex-premier, the anti-Syrian coalition won a majority in parliament in Lebanon’s four- stage parliamentary election that ended on Monday, pocketing 72 of the total 128 seats.
And of course, the inevitable accusation that it is not Damascus but Tel Aviv that is behind the car bombs:
Lebanese deputy: Mossad behind assassinations
June 23, 2005
Lebanese Deputy Marwan Fares has stressed that Israel is standing behind the recent assassination of the former Secretary General of the Lebanese Communist Party, George Hawi, pointing out to the similarity with the other previous assassinations committed by the Israeli Mossad in Beirut southern suburb against leaders of Hizbullah. George Hawi lebanon
In a statement to Tishrin newspaper published Thursday, Fares said that “Hawi is one of the Lebanese national symbols who participated in launching the resistance movement against Israel, and thus Israel is the main enemy for him. The Israeli Mossad is acting in Beirut freely.”
Fares indicated that the assassination of Hawi was a big loss to the Arab liberation movement and to Syria, because he was an ally to Syria’s ruling al-Baath Socialist Party as well as to the late leader Hafez al-Assad and a friend to President Bashar al-Assad.
The deputy added that the continuation of assassinations in Lebanon is targeting the security stability and the political life in the country.
See our last post on the Lebanon-Syria crisis.