Netanyahu: Lebanese PM Hariri's Resignation 'A Wake-up Call' on Iranian Aggression

Move by Saad Hariri proves Iran not only endangers Israel, but the entire Middle East, prime minister says

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Netanyahu at Chatham House, The Royal Institute of International Affairs, in London November 3, 2017.
Netanyahu at Chatham House, The Royal Institute of International Affairs, in London November 3, 2017.Credit: ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday said that the resignation of Saad Hariri as prime minister in Lebanon proves Iran is not only endangering Israel, but the entire Middle East. He called on the international community to stop Iran.

>>Hariri's resignation increases instability on Israel's front with Hezbollah | Analysis

Hariri announced his resignation earlier on Saturday during a trip to Saudi Arabia. In a televised address, Hariri fired a vicious tirade against Iran and Hezbollah for what he said was their meddling in Arab affairs and vowed "Iran's arms in the region will be cut off." Hariri suggested he feared for his life and said the atmosphere in the country is similar to the one that existed before his father, the late prime minister Rafik Hariri, was assassinated in 2005.

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"The resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri and his statements are a wake-up call for the international community to act against Iranian aggression," Netanyahu said, adding that Iran was "trying to turn Syria into a second Lebanon."

"This aggression not only endangers Israel, but the entire Middle East. The international community should unify and stand against this aggression," Netanyahu said.

>> Mounting tensions in Syria and Gaza throw Israel into a new state of emergency | Analysis

Hariri's resignation follows an assassination attempt on his life a number of days ago, Al Arabiya has reported. According to the report, the attempt took place in Beirut but was thwarted.

In his remarks, Hariri said Hezbollah's policies have put Lebanon "in the eye of the storm."

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"Hezbollah was able in past decades to impose a status quo in Lebanon through its weapons directed at the chests of Syrians and Lebanese," he said. "I declare my resignation from the premiership of the Lebanese government, with the certainty that the will of the Lebanese is strong," Hariri said.

Hariri was appointed prime minister in late 2016 and headed a 30-member national unity cabinet that included the Shi'ite militant Hezbollah. The government has largely succeeded in protecting the country from the effects of the civil war in neighboring Syria.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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