Pierre Gemayel’s murder deepens a crisis in Lebanese politics. Last week, Lebanon’s cabinet endorsed plans to set up a tribunal to try those suspected of killing former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri despite the resignations of six pro-Syrian ministers opposed to it.
The anti-Syrian Druze leader, Walid Jumblatt, believes Gemayel’s death is another attempt to destabilise the government: “I accuse the Syrian regime because it does not want Lebanon, the people of Lebanon, to be free, independent and safe,” Jumblatt said.
But Syria’s Information Minister, Mohsen Bilal, says his government was in no way involved: “Syria, the people and the government, strongly condemn what happened. It’s a kind of crime.” Gemayel is the sixth anti-Syrian politicial to be killed in nearly two years and with his death only two more ministers need to quit in order to bring down the Lebanese government.