Israel is displeased with the wide participation of Hezbollah in the new Lebanese government, saying it will enhance Iranian influence in the country.
A report issued by the Institute for National Security Studies at Israel’s Tel Aviv University said yesterday that the formation of the new government in Lebanon is “bad news for Israel,” noting that 18 ministers out of the cabinet’s 30 belong to Hezbollah or allied political forces.
However, the report explained that Hezbollah’s participation in Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s new government would “deepen Hezbollah’s responsibility towards the Lebanese state and emphasize Israel’s claims about the Lebanese state’s responsibility for the party’s activities and about Iran’s influence on Lebanon”.
According to the report, deepening Hezbollah’s control over the political establishment in Lebanon enhances its self-confidence and gives it an opportunity to expand its impact.
The report added that Hezbollah has been facing a series of difficulties following its intervention in civil war in Syria, amid speculations that Iran will be forced to reduce its support for the group due to economic difficulties. All of this seems to have contributed to curbing Hezbollah’s reaction to Israel’s disclosing of tunnels that it claims extend into Israel, crossing the border between the two countries.
Right after announcing the formation of the Lebanese government, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif visited Lebanese capital Beirut in order to advance political and economic interests between the two countries.