Lebanon Daily News Brief 06/16/2022

Thursday, June 16, 2022
June 16th, 2022






UN Special Tribunal Sentences Two Hezbollah Members to Life Imprisonment In Absentia
As part of the U.N.-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon, based in The Hague, international appeals judges sentenced Hassan Habib Merhi and Hussein Hassan Oneissi to life imprisonment in absentia, the maximum possible sentence for their role in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik al-Hariri. [Reuters] The two convicts, who remain at large, are regarded as members of Hezbollah. [L’Orient Today]




Caretaker PM Mikati May Be Called to Form Next Government
Amid recent news that Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun will hold binding consultations with MPs over the nomination of the next Prime Minister in the coming days, Arab News reports that, “Caretaker PM Najib Mikati is widely seen as the front-runner for the post.” It is important to note, however, that the incoming government – if formed immediately following the PM’s nomination – will expire with the completion of the Presidential term in October of this year. [Arab News]




Caretaker Energy Minister Extends Licensing Deadline for Gas Exploration
Yesterday, Lebanon’s Caretaker Energy Minister Walid Fayyad extended the licensing deadline for oil and gas firms to explore for natural resources within Lebanon’s maritime territory to mid-December. [AP]




Coalition of Opposition MPs Support Line 29 on Maritime Border File
According to L’Orient Today, “A coalition of opposition MPs made a statement Thursday announcing their support for the amendment of law 163 to delineate Lebanon’s maritime borders through Line 29 amid disputes over natural gas exploration with Israel . . . The MPs backing the amendment are Ibrahim Mneimneh, Elias Jaradeh, Paula Yacoubian, Halimé Kaakour, Ramy Finge, Cynthia Zarazir, Firas Hamdan, Mark Daou, Melhem Khalaf, Michel Douaihy, Najat Aoun, Waddah Sadek and Yassin Yassin.” [L’Orient Today]








The National
Shame And Obligation Fueling Remittances To Lebanon And Keeping Families Afloat

Nada Homsi and Joyce Karam
Homsi and Karam write, “For many Lebanese living in the US, the crisis in Beirut has changed the way they view home. It is no longer just a destination to connect with family and friends but has become a community they feel a personal responsibility towards. Over the past three years, WhatsApp groups, fund-raisers and an underground network of concerned Lebanese in the US have emerged as part of efforts to help those back home who are facing financial, food and medicinal shortages . . . And it speaks of the sadness of Lebanese parents, who remain emotionally attached to a failing country that holds no future for their children.”




Al Monitor
Israel Puts Syria On Notice Over Iran

Lilach Shoval
Shoval writes, “According to foreign news reports, Israel has not only upped the pace of its strikes on Iranian-linked targets there but has also improved their quality, hitting the Damascus international airport several times in recent weeks and disrupting its operations. Israel has been waging its ‘war between the wars’ with Iran over the past decade at various degrees of intensity. They are reportedly intended to prevent the transfer of Iranian weaponry to its Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah. Apparently in order to avoid embarrassing the Syrian regime and forestall its motivation to retaliate, Israel has not assumed public responsibility for these activities, except in unusual cases in which it felt it necessary to do so.”





Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the American Task Force on Lebanon, a non-profit, nonpartisan leadership organization of Lebanese-Americans.