Al-Asir’s Sit-In ‘Continuous’, Osama Saad Refuses ‘Targetting Resistance from Sidon’إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
The Imam of Sidon’s Bilal bin Rabah mosque Sheikh Ahmed al-Asir stressed that he will not suspend the sit-in that he has been staging in the city until his demands are met.
Al-Asir met Sunday with a delegation of Sidon shopkeepers who informed him that 450 merchants support his demonstration, urging him not to cancel the sit-in.
He said that the people of Sidon can tolerate hardships “but they refuse living without their dignity.”
For his part, Popular Nasserite Organization head Osama Saad and his supporters distributed flowers on to passengers returning from the South to Beirut.
Saad told MTV that “this step comes to reassure our choice of resistance” adding that the arms issue “should be discussed exclusively within the framework of a Lebanese defense strategy.”
Refusing to comment on al-Asir’s sit-in, he told Al-Manar Television that “we will not allow anyone to make Sidon a stage for targeting the resistance.”
Al-Asir told the pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat earlier: “The sit-in will be followed by future steps that I will not disclose.”
“We have not yet seen any tangible steps that would help incorporate non-state arms in a national defense strategy,” he added.
Asir is demanding an end to the “hegemony of illegitimate arms,” saying that he will not put a stop to the Sidon sit-in until this goal is achieved.
“We have no doubt that Hizbullah is not pleased when a small number of Sidon residents become the talk of the country,” he said in response to a question that the sit-in has not affected the party.
Sources close to Hizbullah meanwhile condemned to the daily An Nahar in remarks published on Sunday the “fundamentalist approach adopted by Asir.”
They accused Arab intelligence of supporting the cleric “in order to create strife in Lebanon.”
“We are aware of such plans and we will not be lured into the trap,” they stressed.
Concerned sources also told An Nahar that the Army Command has taken the decision to prevent the demonstrators from blocking any part of the international road in Sidon.
The army has deployed patrols throughout the city to facilitate the people’s transportation, they added.
Furthermore, they did not rule out the possibility of security measures being taken to force the protesters to reopen the road and restore traffic on the main road in the city.
They noted however that such a decision requires an official decision, stressing that any security action will resort to peaceful measures.
Interior Minister Marwan Charbel had stated on Saturday that he is personally handling Asir’s sit-in in, saying that he is optimistic that the case will be resolved soon.
Asir had started his open-ended sit-in three days ago in protest against the “non-state arms in Lebanon.”