• An ambush set up by Islamist Salafists in Arsal targets a Lebanese Army patrol during its attempt to arrest Khaled Hmayed and results in the death of a soldier and a captain and the injury of other military personnel. Arsal residents refuse to hand the killers over and hold the army responsible for the incident. Residents of Al-Mrayjat protest about the death by blocking the international road of Dahr el-Baidar.
  • Government Commissioner to the Military Court Judge Saqr Saqr files a lawsuit against Hezbollah’s member Mahmoud Hayek on charges of attempting to assassinate MP Boutros Harb in his office in Badaro.
  • Union Coordination Committee announces an open-ended strike in conjunction with the closure of educational institutions, ministries and public administrations as of February 19.
  • Scholars criticize Mufti Qabbani’s unjustified stance against those seeking civil marriage.

February 4

  • Lebanese Army’s martyrs laid to rest and President Michel Suleiman arrives in Al-Mrayjat to offer condolences on the death of Captain Bashaalani, stressing that the perpetrators will be brought to justice.
  • A Muslim Scholars’ delegation visits Arsal and calls for lifting the blockade on the town and conducting investigations to identify those responsible.
  • PM Najib Mikati meets the Defense Minister and the Army Commander at the Ministry of Defense and reiterates his support for the Lebanese Army.
  • A number of Muslim scholars announce their opposition to civil marriage from Imam Ali Mosque in Tariq Al-Jdideh and condemn Saad Hariri’s stance on the matter.
  • Cardinal Bechara Al-Rai calls during Sunday mass for the removal of illegal arms, stressing that the army’s martyrs were victims of consensual security.

February 5

  • The Future Movement proposes an electoral draft law inspired from the 1960s’ law and suggests 37 districts instead of 26 and a Senate consisting of 64 members elected according to the Orthodox Gathering proposal.
  • Lebanon’s General Prosecutor Judge Hatem Madi demands Justice Minister to lift immunity off MP Boutros Harb for attacking the judiciary and the President of the Republic, which triggers denouncing reactions.
  • US Ambassador to Lebanon Maura Connelly visits Army Commander General Jean Qahwaji and reiterates her country’s support for the army.
  • “Khaled Hmayed is dangerous and branded as an international terrorist,” says Brigadier General Edmond Fadel to the press, adding that there won’t be any leniency in pursuing Arsal’s assailants.
  • The Lebanese Army imposes tighter presence around Arsal and arrests a number of people in the town.
  • Former PM Saad Hariri calls on Arsal’s residents to act wisely and cooperate with the army in achieving justice.

February 6

  • MP Boutros Harb holds a press conference and requests lifting his political immunity so that he may face Judge Madi before the law and set him as an example of what awaits corrupt judges. Madi refrains from replying to Harb by saying he’s not good at derogatory language.
  • Bulgarian Minister of Interior accuses Hezbollah of carrying out a bus bombing that killed five Israeli tourists in Burgas last July.
  • Sheikh Ahmad El-Assir holds a protest in Saida calling for lifting the military siege in Arsal and describes any military action against the town as threatening to the whole Sunni community.
  • MP Suleiman Frangieh tells OTV that President Michel Suleiman has sensitive files in France.
  • “Postponement of the elections is very dangerous”, says Speaker Nabih Berri to An-Nahar.

February 7

  • A statement issued by President Michel Suleiman’s office assures that no files or commitments are tying him up, daring Frangieh to unveil the evidence he allegedly has.
  • Army Commander General Jean Qahwaji arrives in Akkar to offer condolences over the death of martyr Ibrahim Zahraman, reiterating his determination to punish the killers.
  • PM Najib Mikati chairs a Cabinet session at the Grand Serail, which concludes with the approval of the telecoms data law and urges cooperation to hand over those indicted in the Arsal incident.
  • The Maronite Bishops’ monthly statement supports optional civil marriage, stressing that it may accompany but not replace religious marriage.
  • Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem says the Bulgarian accusations have no effect and don’t change the facts.

February 8

  • On the heels of the sentence to deport Syrian defector Muhammad Tlas to Syria, President Michel Suleiman voices his opposition to the deportation of any Syrian national.
  • A delegation of clerics headed by the Beqa’a Mufti Khalil Al-Mays visits Arsal to discuss a solution to the crisis.
  • General Prosecutor Judge Hatem Madi appoints a committee of experts to reveal the names of those persons within 3 weeks who had received funds from Al-Madina Bank.
  • Mount Lebanon Mufti Sheikh Muhammad Al-Juzu receives Sheikh Ahmad El-Assir and the two condemn the siege imposed on Arsal.
  • STL Prosecutor Norman Farell files a confidential motion seeking amendment of the indictment.

February 9

  • Maronite Cardinal Bechara Al-Rai visits Tripoli for the first time and holds mass at St. Maroun’s church in the presence of social and political dignitaries.
  • Sheikh Ahmad El-Assir holds prayers in Tariq Al-Jdideh and threatens that he will use force to lift the siege of Arsal.
  • Members of the Judicial Council begin their interrogation of 21 Islamist detainees over Nahr El-Bared incidents ahead of trials.
  • Skirmishes erupt between journalists Asaad Bechara and Salem Zahran on Al-Manar TV.
  • Interior Minister Marwan Charbel reveals that he is running for President.
  • PM Najib Mikati declares February 14 as national holiday marking the 8th anniversary of the assassination of former PM Rafik Hariri.
  • Khaled Issa, 22, murders his sister Baghdad Issa, 19, in Wezzani after having raped her. The victim was 7 months pregnant when her brother knew about the pregnancy and asked her to undergo an abortion.

February 11

  • Maronite Cardinal Bechara Al-Rai visits Damascus to participate in the official appointment of Greek Orthodox Patriarch John X Yazigi. His visit is the first by a Marnonite Patriarch for 70 years.
  • Deputy Speaker Farid Makari tells Al-Liwaa newspaper that the elections will be postponed until after September for technical reasons.
  • Sheikh Ahmad El-Assir visits Tripoli and meets MP Misbah Ahdab and Sheikh Salem Rafei.
  • A Future Movement delegation extends condolences over the death of Captain Pierre Machaalani and heads to Arsal in search of a solution.
  • The number of registered Syrian refugees reaches 265,308 according to the UNHCR.
  • Residents of Mais El-Jabal block the road in front of Belgian peacekeepers and snatch away their camera.

February 12

  • Government Commissioner to the Military Court Judge Saqr Saqr charges 34 people over the recent Arsal incident and summons the town’s head of municipality for testimony.
  • PM Najib Mikati signs requests presented by Interior and Defense Ministries to receive the telecoms data and refers them to Telecommunications Minister.
  • MP Walid Jumblat says in his weekly statement that Al-Rai’s visit to Syria is a message of hope for Christians and criticizes the uncertainty within the Future Movement and the campaign against the President of the Republic.
  • The Free Patriotic Movement issues a new book titled Al Ebraa El Mostaheel on the financial situation in the past few decades and the missteps of the Future Movement’s financial management.
  • The Higher Committee for Consultations at the Ministry of Justice confirms the legality of civil marriage in Lebanon and calls on the Minister of Interior and Municipalities to register it in the personal status offices.

February 13

  • The collapse of a house belonging to the family of Deputy Speaker Farid Makari results in the death of a mother and her two handicapped daughters.
  • MP Ahmad Fatfat presents a draft electoral law that merges between plurality (90 MPs) and proportionality (38).
  • PM Najib Mikati reports that the telecoms data matter falls within his prerogatives and Aoun hits back assuring that Mikati doesn’t have the final say in it.
  • Upon perusal of the case, Government Commissioner to the Military Court Judge Saqr Saqr requests terror charges over Michel Samaha and Ali Mamlouk.
  • Army Commander General Jean Qahwaji denies reports stating use of sharp weapons to deform the bodies of Arsal’s victims.

February 14

  • President Michel Suleiman says he won’t allow the extension of Parliament’s mandate during a Cabinet session held at the Presidential Palace. The session concludes that PM Najib Mikati is the one with authority over the telecoms data.
  • Protesters block the passage of Syria-bound diesel trucks in Al-Arida and Sheikh Ahmad El-Assir voices willingness to take to the streets to ban the provision of oil to the Syrian regime.
  • In an interview on Future TV, Head of the Lebanese Forces’ Executive Committee Samir Geagea says that there is an unannounced war on the Sunnis in Lebanon, stressing that the Lebanese Forces has no interest outside the March 14 coalition.
  • Greek Orthodox Patriarch John X Yazigi arrives in Balamand in his first visit after enthronement.

February 15

  • The Future Movement holds a celebration in BIEL on the 8th assassination anniversary of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Fares Soueid delivers a speech representing the March 14 General Secretariat while Saad Hariri fires at Hezbollah in his televised speech from Riyadh, stressing that the dream will come true and he will be in Lebanon to participate in the elections, whatever the electoral law and the risks. Hariri adds that Hezbollah has surfaced with Iran 30 years ago and doesn’t represent the Shia’a whose existence dates back to over 1000 years. Samir Gegea and Sami Gemayel were absent from the celebration.
  • MP Walid Jumblat assures Al-Arabiyya TV that he is heading for KSA in a few days and urges people to hush the fuss on Hezbollah’s weapons and the STL, as the developments in the regions are much more important.

February 16

  • A clash erupts between the Lebanese Army and Arsal residents on grounds of the army’s action in town.
  • Supporters of Sheikh Ahmad El-Assir block Saida’s road for a while, threatening to prevent the tanker trucks from delivering diesel to Syria.
  • Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Awad Osseiri visits Cardinal Al-Rai and reiterates that the caricature published by Saudi newspaper Al-Watan does not represent the views of the KSA.
  • Mikati, Hoss and Seniora hold a meeting to discuss the dispute between the Grand Mufti and the Higher Islamic Council.
  • Abdul Latif Fneish, brother of Minister and MP Muhammad Fneish, turns himself in following warrant issued against him over involvement in forging medications.
  • “The electoral consensus is an inescapable settlement to avoid reaching an impasse,” says MP Sami Gemayel to As-Safir.
  • MP Hassan Fadlallah hits back at former PM Saad Hariri by saying “you are obsessed with power and premiership.”
  • Minister of Energy and Water announces the beginning of the pre-qualification process for oil companies to bid for offshore gas exploration, and promises that production will start in 2016.

February 18

  • In an interview on Al-Jadeed TV, Interior Minister Marwan Charbel expresses belief that the elections will be delayed due to the absence of consensus.
  • Hezbollah fighters killed in clashes with the Free Syrian Army in Shia’a towns in Syria.
  • Bahrain denounces the remarks made by General Michel Aoun and PM Najib Mikati reiterates Lebanon’s commitment to maintain good relations with the Gulf countries adding that Aoun’s remarks only represent him.
  • Greek Orthodox Patriarch John X Yazigi holds his first mass in Ashrafieh in the presence of President Michel Suleiman and PM Najib Mikati.
  • In his response to Hariri’s speech, Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah says “Hariri the son, like his father, vowed to protect the resistance and not to condemn its weapons, granted that he remains in premiership.”

February 19

  • Speaker Nabih Berri opens the first meeting of the joint parliamentary committees in the presence of the Future Movement MPs with the Orthodox Gathering at the center of discussions. MPs vote for an article that suggests expanding the number of parliamentarians to 134.
  • The Union Coordination Committee announces an open-ended strike starting February 19 following the postponement of the session scheduled to discuss means to finance the salary scale.
  • In his weekly statement to Al-Anbaa, Walid Jumblat assures that the KSA is keen on Lebanon’s stability, urging to point the weapons in the right direction.
  • “Hezbollah’s practices do not serve the interest nor the stability of the country,” says Amine Gemayel following his visit to Bkerki.
  • The Gulf States hand the Lebanese Chargé d’Affaires in KSA, Mounir Anouti, a memo protesting Aoun’s statements on Bahrain.

February 20

  • The approval of the Orthodox Gathering proposal in the joint parliamentary committees triggers the withdrawal of the Future Movement MPs, the PSP MPs and the March 14 Christians. Speaker Nabih Berri urges the parties to agree on a different proposal while Aoun celebrates, describing the day of approval as the brightest in Lebanon’s history and calling on Geagea, Gemayel and Cardinal al-Rai to extend his congratulations.

February 21

  • The judiciary orders removal of the posters insulting the Saudi King from Jal El-Dib’s pedestrian bridge.
  • An official in the Free Syrian Army denies the claims warning of a strike against Hezbollah if it continues to support the Syrian regime.
  • The Cabinet convenes at the Presidential Palace and authorizes Mikati to decide on the telecoms data issue. It also denounces the insulting photos mocking the Saudi king.
  • British Foreign Secretary William Hague arrives in Lebanon and meets with a number of Lebanese officials.
  • MP Walid Jumblat reports that the Orthodox Gathering proposal disintegrates the society and brings Lebanon back to isolation.
  • Following his meeting with Speaker Nabih Berri, MP Michel Aoun stresses that Berri is a decision maker, and if no alternatives are offered, the Orthodox Gathering proposal will be the alternative.
  • Hariri discusses electoral matters with Amine Gemayel, Walid Jumblat and Samir Geagea over the telephone.
  • Military Investigative Judge, Riad Abou Ghaida, issues an indictment calling for the execution of Michel Samaha and Ali Mamlouk and refers it to the Military Court.
  • Child dies on a hospital doorstep in Tripoli after he was denied admission due to his parents’ failure to pay the expenses.
  • Sheikh Ahmad El-Assir urges the Internal Security Forces to remove the members of Hezbollah monitoring his moves from the apartments in Abra or else he will take the matters into his own hands.

February 22

  • STL pre-trial judge Daniel Fransen postpones the start of trial scheduled on March 25 without setting any precise date.
  • Maronite leaders convene in Bkerki in the absence of LF leader Samir Geagea and emphasize their openness to any electoral formula that secures fair representation.
  • Hosh al-Sayyed residents deny the landing of any rockets in their town as claimed by the Free Syrian Army.
  • Former PM Saad Hariri tweets that Hezbollah’s support for the Syrian regime is involving Lebanon in the Syrian crisis.
  • British Foreign Secretary William Hague joins Energy Minister Gebran Bassil in launching Lebanon’s offshore seismic scan and stresses the importance of holding the elections on time.

February 23

  • Sheikh Ahmad El-Assir and his supporters deploy with their weapons to confront the alleged presence of Hezbollah members in Abra. El-Assir assures he will force them out of the apartments even at the cost of bloodshed.
  • The Lebanese Forces opens its door to new members from Meerab and Samir Geagea urges the Lebanese parties to propose a better alternative instead of cursing the proposal of Orthodox Gathering.
  • In an interview with Al-Manar TV, General Michel Aoun accuses President Michel Suleiman of constitutional violations and warns him not to intimidate people by threatening to appeal against the Orthodox gathering draft electoral law. Aoun assures that Jumblat will be isolated and the substitute to the Orthodox Gathering proposal is a draft law adopting a proportionality-based system Lebanon as a single district.

February 25

  • A Salafist group storms into Tripoli’s Islamic Hospital and releases Mohammad Youssef who was arrested for opening fire on Minister Faisal Karami. Meetings and calls between security officials and Sheikh Salem Rafei result in handing Youssef over to the ISF.
  • Islamic and Salafist forces rally Downtown to demand the release of prisoners affiliated with the Jihadist Fatah al-Islam group.
  • “Hezbollah is fighting in Syria upon instructions from Iran,” says MP Walid Jumblat, adding that Speaker Berri won’t allow the adoption of the Orthodox Gathering draft law.
  • Two die in Wadi Khaled by the Free Syrian Army’s retaliatory gunfire.
  • Father accused of killing his son in Bhamdoun following a row over LBP 5 million
  • Head of the Criminal Appeals Court, Judge Joseph Samaha, resigns from the case of his relative Michel Samaha.

February 26

  • Union coordination Committee continues its all-out strike in demand of salary scale referral to Parliament and minor clashes erupt between protesters and the Internal Security Forces near BDL.
  • After having fled to Israel in 2000, the family of Akel Hachem (wife, son and daughter) returns to Lebanon and the ICRC hands it over to the Lebanese authorities.
  • Child Mohammed Awada released in return for a ransom payment of USD 132000.

February 27

  • Government Commissioner to the Military Court Judge Saqr Saqr summons
    Sheikh Ahmad El-Assir to question him over his possession of arms.
  • Maronite Cardinal Bechara El-Rai heads for Moscow and urges officials to come up with a uniting electoral law.
  • Finance Minister Mohammad Safadi calls for reconsideration of the salary scale’s figures.
  • MP Walid Jumblat rejects the extension of Parliament’s mandate and expresses support to merging plurality and proportionality systems.
  • 24 soccer players suspended from the game for accepting bribes.
  • Citing the President of the Republic, March 14 independent MPs report that holding the elections according to the 1960s’ law remains better than not holding them at all.

February 28

  • The Higher Defense Council convenes at the Baabda Palace and emphasizes the need to maintain stability and to give the Army full authority to protect civil peace.
  • Speaker Nabih Berri withdraws his hybrid electoral proposal and announces his support for the Orthodox Gathering proposition or for a non-sectarian Parliament and a sectarian Senate.
  • The Lebanese Cabinet extends the contract with the two mobile operators and delays the implementation of the Traffic Law.
  • Through a televised speech, Hezbollah’s Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah reiterates his commitment to holding the elections on time and his endorsement of the Orthodox Gathering proposition or of a proportionality-based system with Lebanon as one district.

March 1

  • Hungarian PM Viktor Orban arrives in Lebanon and meets Lebanese officials.
  • Former PM Saad Hariri phones Speaker Nabih Berri to stress his adherence to holding the elections as scheduled.
  • Former PM Fouad Seniora and MP Bahiya Hariri issue a joint statement condemning the veiled threats made by Nasrallah regarding Saida.
  • Jordan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Judeh hands PM Najib Mikati a letter from Jordan’s King on the situation in Syria.