WikiLeaks: Jumblat Said Israel Strengthened Hizbullah and Weakened the State

Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat reportedly said immediately after the end of the 2006 war between Israel and Hizbullah that if the Jewish state pulled out from occupied Lebanese territories, it would abolish an essential pressure point off the Shiite group.

Israel “is speeding up the withdrawal,” Jumblat said during a meeting dated August 15, 2006, according to a WikiLeaks cable published by al-Akhbar newspaper on Thursday.

The Druze leader criticized Israel’s policies during the war for allegedly strengthening Hizbullah, weakening the Lebanese state and transforming former Premier Fouad Saniora into another “Abu Mazen,” in reference to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Jumblat also stressed that speeches made by officials in Iran, Syria and Hizbullah hinted that March 14 politicians had instigated Israel into bombing southern Lebanon during the war to consolidate themselves against their foes, according to the cable.

He said Christians, Sunnis and Druze should be united to weaken Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah but lamented that Christian politician Michel Aoun was providing a cover for the Shiite party.

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