Hizbullah publishing executive declares bankruptcy
According to Lebanese media sources, Lebanese businessman and Hizbullah publishing executive Hajj Salah Ezzedine has declared bankruptcy. Ezzedine, from the town of Maaroub near the southern port city of Tyre, is the director of the Hizbullah-owned Dar Al-Hadi Publishing House, named in honor of Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah’s son Hadi, who was killed by Israeli soldiers in a gun battle in 1997.
Dar Al-Hadi has played a critical role in Hizbullah’s media campaign. In this capacity it has functioned as the organization’s primary publishing source printing anti-Israeli and “resistance books” that include publications by HHizbullah’s second in command Sheikh Naim Qassem.
For this role, Dar Al-Hadi’s headquarters, located between Haret Hreik and Bir Al-Abed, two neighborhoods in the southern suburbs of Beirut, were targeted and nearly destroyed by the Israeli military during its 2006 military campaign against Hezbollah. Analysts described the operation as an Israeli attempt to ideologically weaken the group.
According to Lebanese daily As-Safir, Ezzedine’s bankruptcy—amounting to an estimated $1.195 billion loss—has affected thousands of Lebanese investors in the southern suburbs of Beirut and the Bekaa Valley, areas notable for positive Hizbullah sentiments. Ezzedine has since been transferred to judiciary authorities who will decide whether the bankruptcy is technical or fraudulent.