March 14: Hizbullah's Deal to Release its Captive from Islamists Proves its Double Standardsإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
The March 14 General Secretariat condemned on Wednesday Hizbullah's negotiations with Islamists that ensured the release of a party member at a time when the government has been laboring to release servicemen held by extremist groups.
It explained: “The party has disregarded the government's crisis cell aimed at releasing the servicemen even though it is a member of the cabinet.”
“Hizbullah's deal is another sign of its undermining of the role of the state,” it remarked.
“The party resorts to the state when it cannot achieve a goal and chooses to disregard it when it believes it can obtain its aims on its own,” it said.
Hizbullah chooses to negotiate “with those it calls takfiris and terrorists … and prevents the state from striking any possible deal over the release of the servicemen,” remarked the General Secretariat.
Moreover, it noted that the kidnapping of the soldiers and policemen is a product of Hizbullah's fighting in Syria.
It accused the party of deeming the servicemen as “state prisoners who are unworthy of freedom, while its members deserve protection.”
The case of captive servicemen should be an “absolute national priority” because it concerns all the Lebanese people regardless of their sect or political affiliations, it added.
It has become necessary to resolve this case for the sake of the captives' families and the dignity of the state, it stressed.
Hizbullah managed Tuesday to secure the release of one of its fighters who had been in the custody of Syrian groups in the mountains of the Qalamun region near Lebanon's border, which has been witnessing fierce clashes in recent months.
“The captive Imad Ayyad was freed at noon following weeks of negotiations with the abductors,” Hizbullah's media department announced in a statement.
Ayyad was released “in exchange for two gunmen who were in Hizbullah's custody,” the statement revealed.
The families of the servicemen, kidnapped from the northeastern border town of Arsal in August, voiced on Wednesday their frustration with the development.
They remarked how the party was able to release its captive, but the state has been incapable of reaching any breakthrough in its negotiations.
They vowed to take escalatory measures on Friday in order to pressure the state to release their loved ones.
The servicemen were kidnapped by Islamic State and al-Nusra Front gunmen following clashes with the army in Arsal in August.