The Prime Minister's Bureau instructed all ministers last Wednesday to refrain from making public statements on the political crisis in Lebanon. A senior official said the Foreign Ministry recommended this to the Prime Minister's Office, so that Hezbollah could not argue that Israel was trying to intervene in Lebanese politics.

However, this was not enough to prevent Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman from stating during his visit to Greece on Thursday that the crisis is not only a domestic Lebanese matter.

Lieberman's office said in a statement, "At the end of the meeting with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, Minister Lieberman was asked by a member of the press about developments in Lebanon. The minister said that this is yet another example of Hezbollah's extortion and threats against the international community in order to block publication of the report by the tribunal investigating the Hariri assassination. This is not only an internal Lebanese matter but an important test for the entire international community."