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Lebanese Al-Manar TV carries special programming on death of Hezbollah leader

BBC Monitoring

Text of report by London-based independent newspaper Al-Quds al-Arabi website on 13 February

Beirut Al-Manar Television in Arabic - Affiliated with the pro-Iranian Hezbollah - on 13 February 2008 has been observed to carry special programming following the announcement of the slaying of its "martyred leader" Imad Mughniyah. The station's special programming consists of live coverage of the reception of mourners at Sayyid al-Shuhada Complex in Al-Ruways in Beirut's southern suburb, live dispatches by its correspondent at the complex, interviews with key mourners, Koranic recitation, and live interviews with clerics, journalists, and members of Lebanese and Arab parties.

Additionally, the channel has been observed to dedicate its daily programme "With the Event" to carry interviews with commentators, former deputies, and activists of Lebanese and Palestinian parties.

During its 1530 gmt newscast, the station cites a statement issued by Hezbollah earlier today in which the party said "the battle with them is very long and that the blood of the mar! tyred leaders has always lifted our resistance to a higher, loftier, and stronger phase." Within the newscast, the channel also interviews a number of the key mourners who offered condolences to the Hezbollah officials at the Sayyid al-Shuhada Complex in southern Beirut.

Usamah Hamdan, representative of the Hamas Movement in Lebanon, says: "The crime is a direct offshoot of the campaign being launched by the US Administration against the resistance forces in the region."

Ali Hasan al-Khalil, political aide to speaker of the Lebanese Chamber of Deputies, says that "the crime has exceeded the political and geographical limits of the game, which opens the door wide open for serious developments."

Abu-Imad al-Rifa'i, representative of the Islamic Jihad Movement in Lebanon, says that "the blood of martyr Imad will breathe in new life in, and unleash, the jihad and struggle of our people in Palestine." He adds that "the blood of the martyrs in the Islamic resist! ance in Lebanon flows together with the blood that is being spilled in Palestine."

The station cites Ayatollah Muhammad Husayn Fadlallah as saying that "with the martyrdom of the great resistance fighter Hajj Imad Mughniyah, the jihadist march against the Israeli enemy and the international arrogance has lost a basic element." Sayyid Fadlallah adds that "after this great loss, we are longing for all the resistance battlefields against the occupation to be more determined to confront the enemy, more steadfast in front of the challenges, and more committed to the Islamic jihad path."

Within the newscast, the channel conducts a live satellite interview with Muhammad al-Hindi, a leading figure in the Islamic Jihad Movement, in Gaza. Al-Hindi says that "the assassination of Mughniyah will never weaken the resolve of the resistance." He notes that the Palestinians will mourn the deceased at a special gathering tomorrow. "This assassination will re-ignite the resistance and revive its strength and determination," he says.

Isma'il Ru! dwan, a leading figure in the Hamas Movement, says: "We express our heartfelt condolences to our brothers in Hezbollah, led by Sayyid Hasan Nasrallah." Dr Hazim Abu-Shanab, a Fatah Movement's leader in Gaza, says: "All the assassinations committed by the Israeli occupation state against the Palestinians, Lebanese, and all others are criminal acts that violate the international law and can never be tolerated. All the resistance factions should aid one another."

Sami Abu-Zuhri, a spokesman for the Hamas Movement, says that "the resistance lost a basic element in its showdown with the Israeli aggression against the Palestinian and Lebanese peoples." He adds that "the resistance will retaliate against the assassination of Mughniyah."

Source: Al-Manar Television, Beirut, in Arabic 13 Feb 08



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