The assassination of Lebanon’s industry and oil minister, Pierre Gemayel, comes at a time when political tensions are already high in the country. Anger and frustration about the current climate is evident in front of the hospital where Gemayel died, where an anti-Syrian demonstration is growing.
Politicians have been warning for days that conflict between pro and anti-Syrian forces could break out in the streets. Lebanon’s Prime Minister Fouad Siniora maintains that despite the recent resignation of six pro-Syrian ministers, his reduced cabinet is legitimate. Pro-Syrian Hezbollah and its allies accuse the government of being allied to the US. Last week the cabinet approved draft UN statutes for a tribunal to try the killers of Rafik al-Hariri.