Lebanon’s resistance movement Hezbollah and its allies have said they will relinquish the Lebanese government unless their demands over the US-backed tribunal investigating the assassination of Rafiq Hariri are met.
Lebanese Health Minister Mohamad Jawad Khalifeh said on Wednesday Hezbollah and its allies have called for an urgent cabinet meeting to talk about the tribunal crisis. He said 11 Lebanese ministers are ready to quit the unity government if such a meeting is not held.
"If the cabinet fails to meet, it means there is no government and as such 11 ministers will tender their resignations this afternoon," Khalifeh told AFP.
A total of 10 ministers represent Hezbollah and its allies in the 30-member Lebanese cabinet. In order for the government to collapse, the backing of more than one-third of the ministers is needed.
Former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and 20 other people were assassinated on February 14, 2005, when explosives equal to around 1,000 kilogram of TNT were blown up in downtown Beirut.
The Washington-sponsored Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) was set up some two years later to look into the deadly incident.
Reports say that the court would likely issue an indictment against some Hezbollah members.
Hezbollah Secretary General Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah has vehemently rebuffed the allegations. He has described the plot as part of dangerous projects that are targeting the resistance movement.
The Lebanese As-Safir daily in November wrote that the United States is exerting "intensive" pressure on Hariri tribunal under the motto: "No discussions before an indictment is issued."