• Clashes continue in Tripoli, increasing the death toll to 10 and the number of injured to 60.
  • President Michel Suleiman welcomes the runners who headed from the Rashaya Citadel toward the Presidential Palace in Baabda, asserting that the Baabda Declaration supplements and consolidates the National Pact. Hezbollah denies its fighters are engaged in the Jabal Mohsen battles.

December 3

  • 16 dead and 110 others injured in Tripoli clashes, including members of the Lebanese Army.
  • The meeting held at the Baabda Palace in the presence of President Michel Suleiman, caretaker PM Najib Mikati and Army Commander Jean Qahwaji concludes with participants deciding to put all security forces at the beck and call of the Lebanese Army in Tripoli. The Army was also delegated to implement judicial orders for security in Tripoli for 6 months.
  • Maronite Patriarch Al-Rai receives a delegation headed by former PM Fouad Seniora and asserts that the present phase requires commitment to the Taef Accord.
  • Qatar reconsiders the deportation of five Lebanese nationals following interference by the General Security Director General Abbas Ibrahim.
  • MP Walid Jumblat says in his weekly statement that all the leaders of Tripoli are bent on destroying their city, warning of the transformation of universities into political platforms.
  • Egyptian journalist Mohammad Hussein Haikal arrives in Lebanon and holds meetings with President Michel Suleiman, Speaker Nabih Berri, General Michel Aoun and former President Amine Gemayel.

December 4

  • Military Court delays the trial of former minister Michel Samaha until May 30, 2014 when all judicial summons will be served.
  • Hezbollah’s Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah asserts on OTV that the Abdallah Azzam Brigades who, he claims, are linked to the Saudi intelligence, are responsible for the attack on the Iranian Embassy. He urges the formation of a government according to the 6-9-9 formula and reveals that the ISF General Directorate is funding fighters in Tripoli.
  • Former PM Saad Hariri brands Nasrallah “conceited” following the latter’s latest speech and emphasizes that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has always stood by Lebanon.
  • The Lebanese Army continues its deployment in Tripoli and arrests more gunmen in Jabal Mohsen and Bab El-Tebbaneh.
  • Walid Jumblat says that the Intelligence Branch should be handed over to the Army, according to Al-Akhbar newspaper.
  • Military Investigation Judge Fadi Sawan orders death penalty against 9 members of An-Nusra Front linked to the car laden with explosives in Maamoura.
  • Tensions mount in Ain El-Helwi Camp after a bomb explodes near the funeral procession of a Fatah member. The bomb was aimed against the Fatah official Mahmoud Lino who took part in the funeral.
  • Caretaker PM Najib Mikati holds a meeting for the dignitaries of Tripoli, during which he asserts that he will not withdraw from his mission and that Tripoli will not turn into a Syrian den.
  • Former PM calls on disarming Tripoli.
  • David Baragwanath, President of Special Tribunal for Lebanon arrives in Lebanon to discuss the Tribunal’s work and to expedite the payment of Lebanon’s share.

December 5

  • During his speech at the inauguration of the International Conference for Dialogue, Truth and Democracy in Byblos, President Michel Suleiman responds to Nasrallah by saying “it is unacceptable to throw random accusations at the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.” He also reiterates the need to aim the weapons in the right direction, slamming all forms of intervention in Syria.
  • Hezbollah accuses Israel of assassinating Hajj Hassan Houlo al-Laqis, a pro-resistance leading figure, near the Saint Therese area in Beirut’s Hadath. Sunni groups in Baalbeck later claim responsibility for the attack.
  • MP Walid Jumblat offers condolences to the Minister of Agriculture, Hussein Haj Hassan, at the Imam Chamseddine Compound over the death of his nephew, a Hezbollah fighter killed in Syria, and shakes hands with the Syrian ambassador to Lebanon who happened to be there.
  • Heavy rainfall floods a number of streets and paralyses traffic for hours in Dbayyeh, Antelias and the tunnel leading to Beirut’s airport.
  • The monthly statement of the Maronite bishops calls for the respect of the Constitution, objecting to the extension of the presidential term of office.
  • LF leader Samir Geagea receives a delegation of alumni from the Lebanese University Faculty of Information, underlining the urgency of holding presidential elections and objecting to the nomination of Army Commander Jean Qahwaji.
  • The Lebanese Army reinforces its deployment in Tripoli and the 18th round of fighting results in 14 deaths and 112 injuries.

December 6

  • Crowds of Salafist residents, including gunmen, gather in front of the Lebanese Army barrack in Al-Qebbeh in Tripoli in protest of the measures taken by the Army to restore order in the city. Armed protesters exchange gunfire with the members of the army, claiming the life of a soldier and injuring others.
  • In an interview in As-Safir newspaper, French Ambassador to Lebanon, Patrice Paoli, denies France’s alleged intention to extend the term of office of President Michel Suleiman.
  • The Progressive Socialist Party (PSP) and the Free Patriotic Movement’s (FPM) deputies meet in Parliament for discussions.
  • MP Walid Jumbat states “it would have been better to point accusations at Israel instead of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia over the attack against the Iranian Embassy.”
  • Grand Mufti Sheikh Mohammad Rashid Qabbani accuses caretaker PM Najib Mikati and former PM Fouad Seniora of moving the dispute into mosques.
  • Daesh terrorist group threatens Interior Minister Marwan Charbel.
  • Greek Orthodox Patriarch Youhanna al-Yaziji suspends his Gulf tour to tackle the abduction of the Maaloula nuns.
  • Speaker Nabih Berri says “the Arab Spring has returned us to the Middle Ages.”

December 7

  • Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati inaugurates the Beirut 57th International Arab Book Fair. “We will spare no effort to bridge the gap between all parties.”
  • Political calls and interventions succeed in canceling the protest called for by Dai Al-Islam Al-Shahal in condemnation of the Lebanese Army’s role in Tripoli.
  • Acting Prosecutor Samir Hammoud issues investigative summons against Refaat and Ali Eid.

December 9

  • After unveiling at the Presidential Palace the busts of all the Lebanese presidents of the Republic since the Independence, President Michel Suleiman opines that any intervention in foreign disputes will fire back at Lebanon.
  • Bkerke’s media office announces that the Elias Nassar case has been referred to the Synod’s court and should cease to be a scoop material.
  • Dar el-Fatwa rejects the use of the Mohammad al-Amin Mosque in Downtown as venue for the divided Higher Islamic Council.
  • At a meeting in Tunis of the Arab States Broadcasting Union, Hezbollah’s media arm, Al-Manar, publicly apologizes for its coverage of the Bahraini anti-government protests. Hezbollah responds by saying it was not responsible for the apology and reaffirms its support for the people of Bahrain.

December 10

  • Minister of Public Works and Transport Ghazi Aridi and Minister of Finance Mohammad Al-Safadi trade blame over last week’s flooding of the streets. Aridi apologizes to the Lebanese people and accuses Safadi of committing construction violations. Safadi fires back pointing to the violations at Aridi’s house in Baisour.
  • General Michel Aoun asserts that he will not run for presidency, stressing that the elections will be held on time and accusing Major General Ashraf Rifi of smuggling weapons to fighters in Tripoli. Rifi denies the allegations.
  • Hezbollah accepts the condolences of Minister Nathem el-Khoury, representative of President Michel Suleiman, over the death of Hassan Houlo al-Laqis.
  • First Military Investigative Judge, Riad Abou Ghaida receives the file of charges issued by State Commissioner, Judge Sakr Sakr, against Refaat Eid.

December 11

  • A severe snowstorm, named “Alexa”, hits Lebanon resulting in heavy rain and snowfall at the elevation of 1000 m and above. Minister of Education Hassan Diab orders the closure of public and private schools.
  • Caretaker PM Najib Mikati represents Lebanon in the memorial service held to bid Nelson Mandela farewell.
  • The Subcommittee in charge of examining the new salary scale completes its work and submits its report to General Secretariat of Parliament. MP Ibrahim Kanaan announces that the revised cost of the salary scale amounts to LBP 2367 billion. Prospective revenues amount to LBP 3494 billion of which LBP 1200 billion are temporary revenues.
  • Lebanese Forces Leader, Samir Geagea, receives retired Major General Ashraf Rifi in Meerab.
  • UK Foreign Office Minister to the Middle East and North Africa, Hugh Robertson arrives in Lebanon and stresses that whatever happens in Syria stays in Syria, reiterating that the UK will exert all efforts possible to keep Lebanon safe and stable.
  • Elie Francois El-Hajj, son of the deceased Major General Francois El-Hajj reveals that an army checkpoint was set at the same site where his father was assassinated one month before the attack and was removed two days after, adding that two of his bodyguards were found murdered in ambiguous circumstances.
  • Al-Jadeed TV airs an interview with Bo Astrom, one of the investigators of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, which probed the assassination of former PM Rafik Hariri, saying that the late Brigadier General Wissam El-Hassan was the only security official who knew the route the Hariri procession was taking, adding that the explosion occurred underground. The Swedish investigator infers that Syria had ordered the murder of Rafik Hariri with the assistance of Hezbollah.

December 12

  • In response to the investigator Bo Astrom speaking on Al-Jadeed two days earlier, the former first commissioner of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, Detlev Mehlis, asserts that the late Wissam El-Hassan was never a suspect in the assassination of Hariri.
  • Snow covers Lebanon and blocks a number of roads during a severe winter storm that hit the country and forced the closure of schools until Thursday.
  • Speaker Nabih Berri emphasizes during Wednesday’s parliamentary meeting that the 9-6-6 formula is the most reasonable and acceptable.

December 13

  • Bishop Elias Aoudeh commemorates at the Saint George Greek Orthodox Cathedral at the Nejmeh Square in Downtown, Beirut, the second anniversary of the assassination of MP Gebran Tuenis, stating that the Lebanese have not learned their lesson despite the years of war they suffered.
  • Hezbollah’s Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem says that no government can rule without obtaining the confidence of Parliament.
  • Minister of Education and Higher Education Hassan Deeb decides to suspend schooling for the third consecutive day due to bad weather conditions.
  • Verbal skirmishes arise between the Free Patriotic Movement and the Lebanese Forces over the state of the Christians in Lebanon.
  • Beirut Municipality member Issam Barghout stresses that he resigned from his post for health reasons, denying all rumors about internal rifts between the members and the Head of Beirut’s municipal council.

December 14

  • The storm continues in full force causing heavy showers and snowfall and blocking roads in several mountainous areas, particularly in Dahr el-Baidar.
  • Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta arrives in Lebanon for an official two-day visit.
  • Amelie Zinzius sworn in as new Deputy Registrant for the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.
  • Beirut’s criminal Judge Bassem Takieddine sentences Ahmad Mohammad Yassin to 1 year in prison and fines him LBP 50 million for storing rotten meat and chicken in his warehouse in Ashrafieh.

December 16

  • Armed men and a suicide bomber attack two Lebanese Army checkpoints in Saida- one in Awwali and the other in Majdelyoun- killing a soldier and four assailants and injuring three others. The assailants included one Palestinian national and two Lebanese, one of whom was close to Moueen Abou Dahr, the suicide bomber involved in the attack against the Iranian Embassy.
  • The March 14 Forces holds a conference in Tripoli titled “Coexistence in North Lebanon: A Joint National Responsibility.” The recommendations herald a national reconciliation between Jabal Mohsen and Bab el-Tebbaneh, and former PM Fouad Seniora delivers a speech slamming Iran.
  • President Michel Suleiman receives MP Walid Jumblat accompanied by Minister Wael Bou Faour on Saturday evening and Jumblat renews commitment to the 6-9-9 formula.
  • Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta concludes his visit to Lebanon after meeting the country’s top officials and visiting Italy’s UNIFIL contingent.
  • The al-Mashriq Party members stage a protest near the Turkish embassy in Rabieh demanding the release of the kidnapped bishops and nuns.
  • A Lebanese Army soldier opens fire at an Israeli patrol in An-Naqoura killing a member of the Israeli Army and triggering the formation of a military committee to probe the shooting.

December 17

  • After giving his testimony to the Financial State Prosecutor, Ali Ibrahim, caretaker Minister of Public Works and Transportation, Ghazi Aridi, holds a press conference during which he renews his accusation about Minister Mohammad Safadi having committed construction violations and emphasizes that the MEAS company, headed by MP Ghazi Youssef, neglected the cleaning of the drains of the tunnel leading to Beirut’s airport. Aridi concludes by submitting his resignation from the caretaker Cabinet.
  • Hezbollah’s deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem receives Qatar’s new ambassador to Lebanon, Ali Bin Hamad Al-Marri.
  • Following investigation with the UN and Israel into the shooting incident, which claimed the life of an Israeli soldier in An-Naqoura, the Lebanese Army describes the shooting as an individual act.
  • The UNHCR announces that the number of the registered Syrian refugees in Lebanon has reached 842,000, in addition to 52,000 Palestinian refugees who also fled Syria seeking shelter in a country that hosts already 350,000 Palestinians. Refugees account today for 30% of Lebanon’s population.

December 18

  • A car bomb rocks a Hezbollah stronghold on the periphery of the town of Labwi in Baalbeck; there is conflicting information about the incident. The car was laden with 60 kilograms of explosives.
  • During a ceremony held on Tuesday to commemorate the late writer and journalist Nasir al-Assad and the caricaturist Pierre Sadek, Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea holds Hezbollah responsible for the proliferation of takfiris in Lebanon.
  • Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati meets his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan during his participation in the annual commemoration of the death of Jalal El-Din El-Roumi.
  • Maronite Patriarch al-Rai receives General Michel Aoun in Bkerke.
  • Rockets launched from Syria land in Hermel targeting a Lebanese Army barrack and injuring a number of soldiers.
  • “I am not obsessed with the presidency,” says former President Amin Gemayel.

December 19

  • Speaker Nabih Berri adjourns the scheduled parliamentary session until December 28, 2013  due to lack of quorum.
  • Interior Minister Marwan Charbel and Justice Minister Chakib Qortbawi arrive in Roumieh Prison for an inspection visit for the purpose of ending the anomalies plaguing the prison.
  • Celebratory fire erupts in Tripoli following the televised appearance of Abou Mohammad Al-Joulani, leader of An-Nusra Front.
  • An-Nusra Front and the Marwan Hadid Brigades announce the targeting of Hezbollah’s stronghold in Hermel.

December 20

  • Financial General Prosecutor Ali Ibrahim listens to the testimony of Finance Minister Mohammad Safadi over the accusations filed against him by Minister Ghazi Aridi and decides to sue MEAS Company, headed by MP Ghazi Youssef, for negligence in the case of the flooding of roads in Beirut.
  • Lebanese Army units comb the area stretching between the Awali River and the Besri valleys in search of wanted terrorists and arrest five of them in one of the largest field operations in the area for 20 years.
  • A statement by the Loyalty to the Resistance Bloc opines that the March 14 Forces is sheltering the takfiris and renews its commitment to the 6-9-9 governmental formula.
  • The American University of Beirut Medical Center announces that the two deaths previously pronounced due to medical malpractice occurred due to natural causes. 
  • Lebanon bids farewell to Druze Religious Reference scholar Sheikh Abou Said Amin Abou Ghannam.
  • Former Minister Elias el-Murr starts officially his appointment as the Head of the INTERPOL Foundation.

December 21

  • During a speech addressing a memorial service held for Hezbollah’s martyr, Hassan Laqis, Hezbollah’s Secretary General, Hassan Nasrallah, accuses Israel of assassinating Laqis and warns of the formation of a fait accompli or a neutral cabinet, adding that Hezbollah’s choice of participating in the events in Syria is final and irrevocable and encouraging the holding of presidential elections.
  • Ziad Rahbani faces social media backlash following his announcement that his mother, Fairuz, admires Hassan Nasrallah.
  • Israel reiterates its unilateral determination to demarcate its maritime borders with Lebanon, which may affect Lebanon’s gas reserves.
  • The Lebanese Forces hold a conference in Meerab in support of the Christians of Lebanon and the East.
  • The Special Tribunal for Lebanon decides to try the fifth suspect in Hariri’s assassination, Hassan Meri, in absentia.
  • Maronite Patriarch al-Rai bans the lawyers, who help married couples to convert their sects in order to divorce them, from representing cases in religious courts.

December 23

  • Family clashes in the Western Bekaa Valley town of Al-Suwairi between the Shoumans (Sunni) and the Janbins (Shia’a) leave 4 dead and 7 injured.
  • Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati and Finance Minister Mohammad Safadi trade blame over the delay in funding the Special Tribunal for Lebanon by referring the payment decree to the Audit Court.
  • A reconciliatory meeting ends the rift between the Lebanese Forces leader Samir Gegaea and the Deputy speaker Farid Makari.
  • MP Mohammad Raad, Head of the Loyalty to the Resistance Bloc, meets President Michel Suleiman in Baabda who asserts that he will not extend his term in office and will be in Amshit by May 26.
  • Lebanese Army Commander, General Jean Qahwaji surveys the Lebanese Army outposts in Saida and south Lebanon.
  • During its general conference, the Fatah Movement elects Refaat Shanaa as General Secretary for the party’s Lebanon branch.
  • Interior Minister Marwan Charbel honors Anwar Thoul Ghina, a porter working at the Rafik Hariri International Airport who found USD 10,000 at the Airport’s Arrival Hall and handed the money to the ISF bureau who in turn returned the money to the owner.

December 25

  • The Future Parliamentary Bloc calls on President Michel Suleiman and PM-designate Tamam Salam to form a government without succumbing to blackmail, stressing that Hezbollah and terrorist organizations are two sides of the same coin.
  • Interior Minister Marwan Charbel promotes ISF Chief, Brigadier General Ibrahim Basbous to the rank of Major General following the issuance of his promotion decree.

December 27

  • During his participation in Bkerke’s Christmas Mass, President Michel Suleiman highlights the urgent need to form a government prior to March 25, 2014.
  • Speaker Nabih Berri addresses a delegation of the Press Syndicate saying that a government that does not obtain the confidence of Parliament is not an accomplishment and would only further complicate the situation.
  • Maronite Patriarch al-Rai receives well wishers on the occasion of Christmas and New Year, including MP Walid Jumblat, LF leader Samir Geagea and a Hezbollah delegation.
  • LF leader Samir Geagea met with MP Walid Jumblat during a dinner banquet held by MP Nehmeh Tohmeh, LBCI reports.
  • MP Suleiman Frangieh emphasizes that he will not approve of extending the President’s term of office, even if it is for just one month, urging the March 8 Forces to nominate a consensual candidate for presidency.

December 28

  • Former Minister Mohammad Chatah dies in a car bombing that struck his convoy in the Starco area in Downtown, Beirut. A Honda CRV laden with 50 kilograms of explosives blew up, killing seven people and injuring 50 others. The March 14 Forces blames the attack on the perpetrators behind the Hariri killing.

December 30

  • The funeral of former Minister Mohammad Chatah takes place at the Mohammad el-Amin Mosque in Downtown, Beirut and former PM Fouad Seniora urges the launching of a peaceful campaign to liberate Lebanon of illegal weapons. Chatah and his bodyguard were laid to rest near Rafik Hariri.
  • President Michel Suleiman unravels a Saudi donation of USD 3 billion to the Lebanese Army, saying that he has not discussed the government formation issue with any Arab or foreign officials.
  • The Higher Defense Council convenes in Baabda and urges the confrontation of terrorism and the referral of all bombings to the Justice Council.
  • French President Francois Hollande meets former PM Saad Hariri during his visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
  • Protesters stop the Grand Mufti, Mohammad Rashid Qabbani, from leaving the Khasheqji Mosque where the funeral of a young martyr Mohammad Shaar was held and the security forces intervene to evacuate the Mufti amid a barrage of slander against him. Dar el-Fatwa holds former PM Fouad Seniora and Caretaker PM Najib Mikati responsible for the incident.
  • Hezbollah accuses the March 14 Forces of exploiting Chatah’s bloodshed to form a government.
  • Israel responds to the grad rockets launched from South Lebanon to its north borders by shelling fields in the Hasbaya area.
  • Initial investigation into the Chatah murder reveals that the detonated car was stolen from Rmeileh and entered the Ain el-Helwi camp.