Hizbollah will Pardon any SLA Militia Man who Kills Israeli

Published May 14th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Lebanon's Hizbollah group will pardon any member of Israel's proxy South Lebanon Army (SLA) who kills an "Israeli or an (SLA) officer," one of its top leaders told a rally in southern Lebanon Sunday. 

"Any pro-Israeli agent who kills an Israeli or an SLA official and who escapes from the (Israeli-occupied) zone will be considered to have repented and Hizbollah will ask for him to be granted an amnesty," said the group's second-in-command, Sheikh Naim Qassem. 

He stressed that Hizbollah would then "do everything possible to save from death or jail any pro-Israeli agent who took this 'last chance'." 

Prime Minister Salim Hoss Tuesday rejected an amnesty request from SLA leader Antoine Lahd for the members of the militia. 

The 2,500 members of the SLA will face charges of "treason" for their activities, while Lahd himself has been sentenced to death in absentia for "collaboration with the Israeli enemy." 

Hizbollah chief Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah threatened last month to "liquidate" SLA members who did not hand themselves in to the authorities after Israel leaves the border strip of southern Lebanon, which it has pledged to do by July. 

"The criminal collaborating traitors face a choice: leaving along with the enemy, turning themselves in to the authorities, or being shot by our mujahedeen (holy warriors)," he said -- SIDON, Lebanon (AFP) 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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