The Shiite group has always used upheavals to obtain political and military gains. What remains to be see is how useful this strategy will be in handling the fallout from last week’s explosion, amid growing calls to reduce the organization’s power.
Lebanon’s government resigned on Monday, less than a week after the deadly blast at Beirut port took the lives of nearly 160 people and injured 6,000 others.
This comes after mass demonstrations on Saturday and Sunday where protesters called on the government that includes the Shiite group Hezbollah to step down; with angry mobs setting up symbolic nooses at the capital’s Martyrs’ Square to hang politicians, whose negligence and corruption they blamed for last week’s port blast.
Hassan Nasrallah, the chief of Hezbollah, was one of those figures hanging at the square with protesters sending a clear message to the group’s leader that his dominance of Lebanon’s political arena was no longer wanted.
Down With Hezbollah?
The dissatisfaction with Hezbollah started long before the blast. In 2005 the group was blamed for its alleged involvement in the assassination of then Prime Minister Rafic Al Hariri, allegations it denied.
Last October, it was accused of being part of the corrupt Lebanese government that wanted to raise fuel price and considered imposing a tax on the use of Whatsapp.