Hezbollah is threatening to withdraw from Lebanon’s uneasy unity government, collapsing it and plunging the country into its worst political crisis since 2008. A government official tells the New York Times that 11 of the country’s 30 cabinet members will resign today, complaining that the cabinet hasn’t renounced a UN-backed tribunal investigating the 2005 assassination of Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. The tribunal is expected to indict members of Hezbollah.
Hezbollah has called the tribunal an “Israeli project,” and demanded Hariri’s son, current Prime Minister Saad Hariri, reject its findings. But Hariri, who is in Washington today meeting with President Obama, has so far refused. Talks between Syria, a Hezbollah ally, and Saudi Arabia, a Hariri ally, aimed at heading off the crisis fell apart last night. Now the country is on edge, with the headline in one opposition newspaper today reading, “The beginning of the unknown.”