WikiLeaks: March 14 Christians Supported Extending July War to Allow Israel to 'Finish the Job'
Christian officials in the March 14 camp feared during the July 2006 war that the conflict would empower Hizbullah more than ever before, revealed a leaked U.S. Embassy cable published exclusively in Al-Akhbar on Saturday.
The WikiLeaks cable, dated August 5, 2006, reported on a meeting between then U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Jeffrey Feltman, then assistant to the U.S. Secretary of State David Welsh, Phalange Party leader Amin Gemayel, his slain son former minister Pierre, National Liberal party leader Dory Chamoun, National bloc leader Carlos Edde, March 14 general secretariat coordinator Fares Soaid, MPs Georges Adwan, Nayla Mouwad, Nassib Lahoud, and minister Butros Harb.
The gatherers voiced their full support for then Prime Minister Fouad Saniora’s call for a ceasefire during the war, simultaneously voicing fears that Hizbullah would emerge from the conflict stronger than it was before should the ceasefire be implemented immediately.
They instead supported the idea of extending the Israeli aggression “for a week or two”, enough to weaken the party.
The gatherers said that they were voicing Saniora’s private sentiments regarding the war, adding that Israel should “pound Hizbullah to such an extent that it would return to its senses.”
Harb was quoted as saying: “If Israel is convinced that it can finish the job, then it would allow the war to be extended seven to ten days.”
In addition, the gatherers believed that should the issue of the Israeli-occupied Shabaa Farms be resolved, then the main reason for Hizbullah’s weapon’s possession would be eliminated.
They also expressed their skepticism over the Lebanese army’s ability to deploy in the South without the supervision of international troops.