SHAFAQNA – The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is to expel within 24 hours 70 mostly-Shia Lebanese nationals, Lebanon’s foreign minister says.“The ministry of foreign affairs was informed by the Lebanese embassy in the Emirates that 70 Lebanese will be deported by the authorities in the next 24 hours,” Gebran Bassil said on Friday. Sixty-three of those to be deported are Shias.
The UAE deported dozens of Lebanese Shias in 2009, saying they had had links with the Lebanese resistance movement of Hezbollah. In 2010, 125 Lebanese were deported and the only explanation the Lebanese Foreign Ministry could receive from the UAE over the matter was that the move had been taken ”for security reasons.”
It was reported last year that the Emirati government had listed 82 organizations, including Hezbollah’s affiliates in the Persian Gulf, as “terrorists.”
“Some of the most prominent groups on the US list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations are included on the UAE list, so Washington will likely view that as a positive and encouraging development…,” David Weinberg, a senior fellow at Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies, has said.
The Israeli regime, Washington’s strongest ally, launched wars on Lebanon in 2000 and 2006. About 1,200 Lebanese, most of them civilians, were killed in the 33-Day War of 2006. On both occasions, however, Hezbollah resistance fighters defeated the Israeli forces and Tel Aviv was forced to retreat without achieving any of its objectives.