January 2

  • A suicide bomber detonates a Grand Cherokee Jeep laden with 20 kilograms of explosives on Al-Arid Street in the Southern Suburbs of Beirut killing 5 people and injuring 77. Informed sources reveal that the car was bought by a member of the Ammoun family who belongs to the Qaeda-linked Sami and Ibrahim Al-Atrash’s group.
  • Iran asks Lebanon to participate in the ongoing investigation with Majed Al-Majed.

January 3

  • Investigations identify the Hnaider resident, Qoutaiba As-Satem, as the suicide bomber who blew himself up in the Southern Suburbs. His family claims not to have been in touch with him since December 28, and his father has been called in by the Lebanese Army Intelligence for interrogation. The Wadi-Khaled families deplore the explosion and regard the alleged presence of Qoutaiba in the Southern Suburbs as unlikely, wondering how his ID remained intact while his body was blown up.
  • MP Walid Jumblat and Minister of Social Affairs, Wael Abou Faour, return from Turkey after having met the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ahmad Daoud Oghlo.
  • Families of the victims of the Iranian Embassy bombing hold a press conference at the Press Syndicate demanding the trial of Majed Al-Majed, the Saudi Commander of the Abdullah Azzam Brigades, which claimed responsibility for the attack, in Lebanon rather than in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
  • A number of vandals burn the historic library of the Greek Orthodox priest Ibrahim Al-Sarrouj in Tripoli. Al-Sarrouj had received threats over an anti-Islam pamphlet falsely attributed to him. General Ashraf Rifi and Tripoli’s Mufti Malek Al-Shaar condemn the attack.
  • The Lebanese Army makes an official announcement asserting that the DNA tests have confirmed the detained Saudi man is Majed Al-Majed.

January 4

  • The Lebanese Army announces the death of Majed Al-Majed from medical complications. Sources speculate that the Army could not extract any information from him because of his illness and Iran demands autopsy to determine the cause of death.
  • The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), known colloquially by its Arabic acronym, ‘Daesh’, claims responsibility for the bombing that shook Al-Arid Street and branding it as part of settling scores with Hezbollah.
  • March 14 Forces commemorate the martyrdom of Mohammad Chatah in Downtown, Beirut, one week after his assassination. “We will be armed with the notion of statehood to liberate Lebanon from illegal weapons,” says Ahmad Hariri in his speech.
  • Tensions flare between Jabal Mohsen and Bab el-Tebbaneh leaving one dead and 7 injured.
  • MP Walid Jumblat holds meetings with the Speaker’s representative Minister Ali Hassan Khalil and Hezbollah’s delegate, Hajj Wafiq Safa, to discuss the government formula.
  • President Michel Suleiman signs a decree approving the promotion of 15 ISF Colonels to the rank of Brigadier Generals from January 1, 2014. Imad Othman, the ISF Information Branch Chief, is at the top of the list for promotion.
  • March 14 Forces strongly deplore the torching of the priest Ibrahim Sarrouj’s Al-Saeh Library in Tripoli.
  • Gladys Joseph Tabet, the first officially elected Miss Lebanon (1960) and the sister-in-law of MP Boutros Gladys Joseph Tabet, is announced dead.

January 5

  • US Embassy calls on its citizens to avoid all travel to Lebanon and to exercise extreme vigilance in hotels and their vicinities.
  • Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon, Ali Awad Asiri, announces that the family of Majed Al-Majed has requested the repatriation of his body, denying rumors about the Kingdom’s alleged autopsy request.
  • “..When I was still a fetus, the Prophet appeared in my father’s dream and preached of my advent. When I heard about this, I turned into a charging rocket in defense of all Muslim matters,” says MP Khaled Daher during his press conference, accusing Hezbollah of carrying out the latest bombing in the Southern Suburbs.
  • Former ISF Chief Ashraf Rifi states on Radio Orient that Hezbollah is the other face of Daesh and An-Nusra Fron, stressing that only moderation can save Lebanon.

January 6

  • Armenians celebrate Christmas and Catholicos Aram I says “history won’t have mercy on Lebanese politicians.”
  • “Non-partisan Lebanese have the right to form a government,” says President Michel Suleiman during the inauguration of the renovated Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture in Beirut, reiterating his opposition to term renewal.
  • Al-Manar reporter, Abbas Karnib, dies of the wounds he had sustained during last week’s bombing that shook Al-arid Street.
  • “Your signature of the government formation decree would be worthless if it is at odds with the constitution,” says MP Talal Erslan in an address to President Michel Suleiman during his press conference.
  • The Saudi Cabinet deplores the two terrorist bombings in Starco and the Southern Suburbs, urging the Lebanese to listen to the voice of reason.
  • A Hezbollah delegation visits the Grand Mufti Mohammad Rashid Qabbani and deplores the Khasheqji Mosque incident.
  • The March 14 General Secretariat suspends public periodic meetings.

January 7

  • President Michel Suleiman receives Ali Hassan Khalil and Hussein Khalil, political advisers to Speaker Nabih Berri and Hezbollah Chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah respectively, in Baabda to discuss the government formula.
  • Rifaat Eid, the Arab Democratic Party politburo chief, appears in court for his first hearing on charges of threatening Intelligence Branch officers. He is released on bail by Military Investigative Judge Riad Abou Ghiada.
  • General Michel Aoun urges President Suleiman to name the persons hindering the formation of the cabinet following the Change and Reform Bloc’s weekly meeting, stressing that no one should be isolated from the new cabinet.
  • UN invites Lebanon to participate in the Geneva 2 conference on Syria.

January 8

  • The Future Bloc urges President Michel Suleiman and caretaker PM Najib Mikati to form a non-partisan government, stressing that the Haret Hreik martyrs are paying the price for Hezbollah’s intervention in Syria.
  • Speaker Nabih Berri expresses annoyance over the Future Bloc’s statement during Wednesday’s meeting.
  • The monthly statement of the Maronite Bishops urges speedy formation of government and holding of presidential elections on time, calling on politicians to assume their responsibilities.
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs Adnan Mansour files a complaint with the United Nations over Israeli spying.
  • Military Investigative Judge sues 14 suspects on charges of planting bombs along the Masnaa highway.
  • First Investigative Judge, Ghassan Oueidat, refers the case of embezzlement of the Higher Relief Committee’s funds to the Court of Appeals Public Prosecution in Beirut.
  • Civil society activists protest in the Mathaf area against violence.
  • MP Ahmad Fatfat reveals to LBC that Hezbollah has the capacity to wiretap mobile phones.

January 9

  • The Loyalty to Resistance Bloc reiterates that a fait-accompli cabinet would be an unprecedented venture that might hinder the presidential elections, urging a strategy where the roles of the army, the people and the resistance go hand in hand.
  • Medical examiners confirm that the death of Majed Al-Majed was due to medical reasons and Attorney General, Judge Samir Hammoud asserts that his body was handed over to the Saudi embassy in Beirut.
  • Trial Chamber of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon holds a preliminary hearing in preparation for the trial.

January 10

  • President Michel Suleiman expresses optimism over Hariri’s approval of the 8-8-8 government formula and grants all parties a 10-day ultimatum to form a cabinet. Otherwise, he will announce a neutral government.
  • Majed Al-Majed’s body is repatriated to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on board of a Saudi Arabian Airlines’ plane.
  • Rocket-propelled grenade targets a Lebanese Army post in Tripoli leaving 4 soldiers slightly injured.
  • The principal advisor to the Secretary of Defense for US policy in the Middle East, Mathew Spence, voices unwavering support for the Lebanese Army following his meeting with President Michel Suleiman. The US Embassy reveals that since 2005 aid worth over USD 1 billion has been delivered to the Lebanese Army and the Internal Security Forces.
  • Patriarch Al-Rai receives a Hezbollah delegation in Bkerke.
  • Caretaker Minister of Energy and Water Gibran Bassil and the American NEOS Company sign a contract on carrying out oil and gas exploration via photogeology, in the presence of the US ambassador to Lebanon
  • STL Prosecutor, Norman Farell tells An-Nahar that new evidence will emerge soon in the Hariri assassination case, rejecting the doubts raised on the telecommunications evidence.
  • President Michel Suleiman holds discussions with the head of the Future Parliamentary Bloc over formation of government.
  • General Michel Aoun leaves for Vatican

January 12

  • Following his visit to Speaker Nabih Berri, MP Walid Jumblat announces that the meetings with Berri are always positive.
  • The Mohammad Choucair-list wins the elections of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture in Beirut and Mount Lebanon.
  • Former PM Saad Hariri meets Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov in Paris.
  • Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Jawad Zareef arrives in Lebanon for an official visit.
  • PM-designate Tamam Salam announces that January 20 is the final day granted before the formation of government.
  • Former PM Saad Hariri and LF leader Samir Geagea have a lengthy phone conversation over cabinet formation.
  • Leaflets distributed in Arsal in protest at the Syrian presence in the town and the competition for work it entails.
  • Members of the March 14 Forces attend an event entitled “Age of Justice” in Meerab and LF leader Samir Geagea delivers a speech urging the formation of a cabinet lead by March 14 Forces. Other speeches were delivered by former Minister Ibrahim Najjar, MP Fares Soueid and MP Jamal Al-Jarrah.
  • Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Jawad Zareef continues his visit to Lebanon and holds meetings with top officials with the exception of caretaker PM Najib Mikati who had headed for Umra. Zareef holds a banquet in the Phoenicia Hotel in honor of a number of figures including MP Walid Jumblat, Phalanges Party official Sejaan Al-Qazzi and former Speaker Hussein al-Husseini.
  • Head of the Congregation for Eastern Churches at the Vatican, Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, ends his visit to Lebanon after emphasizing the need for stability in the country.
  • Former PM Fouad Seniora and Speaker Nabih Berri hold a meeting to tackle the situation of the government.

January 14

  • A number of sacked employees from the KVA service company contracting with EDL block a main highway in Dawra in protest of their dismissal, leaving drivers stranded for hours in their vehicles. Lebanese Minister of Labor urges the company to reverse the dismissals.
  • Trial Chamber of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon adjourns its decision on the possible joining the cases of Hassan Merhi and Rafic Hariri assassination.
  • Caretaker PM Najib Mikati arrives in Kuwait to take part in an international donor conference for Syria.
  • The Abdullah Azzam Brigades issues a statement consisting of the biography of its Saudi Prince Majed Al-Majed and accuses Hezbollah of murdering him. The statement reiterates that the Brigades will not stop its war against Iran and Hezbollah in defense of the Sunni.
  • Sheikh Ahmad El-Assir tweets an apology for his declining social media activity.

January 15

  • Former PM Saad Hariri, MP Sami Gemayel and MP Marwan Hamade arrive in the Netherlands to attend the opening of the Hariri assassination trial. President Michel Suleiman assures that justice is stronger than crime and terror.
  • During his participation in the Kuwait’s international donor conference for Syria, Caretaker PM Najib Mikati holds meetings with a number of officials including US Secretary of State John Kerry who announces a transfer of USD 76 million so that Lebanon can attend to the relief efforts for Syrian refugees.
  • Lawyer Rashid Salameh holds a press conference calling on the Special Tribunal for Lebanon to remove the testimonies of 13 witnesses whose names were leaked to the media from the court’s files.
  • Der Spiegel reports that two of the suspects in Hariri’s assassination are in Iran and the rest might have been killed.
  • STL President, Judge David Baragwanath, appoints Italian Judge Nicola Lettieri as the new international alternate judge to the Trial Chamber.
  • The Lebanese Army arrests the leader of Abdulla Azzam Brigades, Jamal Daftardar, in the Beqa’a valley area and shoots dead the Fateh El-Islam member Mazen Abou Abbas.

January 16

  • STL proceedings kick off in The Hague and the prosecution outlines through a model of the crime scene how it believes Mostafa Badreddine and Salim Ayyash carried out the assassination, premising its case on the telecommunications’ evidence. The prosecution adds that the explosion did not occur underground as previously speculated but was the result of an unidentified suicide bomber. Attending PM Saad Hariri says he is seeking justice, not revenge, adding that defending the suspects is pointless.
  • The Head of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon Defense Office, Francois Roux, announces that the trial could last at least three years.
  • A suicide bomber detonates a Kia SUV laden with 33 kilograms of explosives at the Hermel Square leaving 4 dead and 43 injured. The An-Nusra front claims responsibility for the explosion and investigations reveal that the car was stolen from Antelias two months ago.
  • An Iranian delegation, headed by Deputy Justice Minister Abdul Ali Mirkuhi, holds talks with a number of Lebanese officials on the investigations into the bombing that targeted the Iranian Embassy in Beirut.
  • Talks circulate about a potential meeting between former PM Saad Hariri and General Michel Aoun in Rome.
  • Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya deplores the death of Mazen Abou Abbas during the Lebanese Army’s crack down on his house in Kamed Al-Lawz and stages a protest near the Jeb Jennine Serail.

January 17

  • Reuters reports that former PM Saad Hariri is ready to participate in a coalition government with Hezbollah, which he describes as a political party. Hariri says that the suspect is presumed innocent until proven guilty and that he will not make compromises.
  • Rockets target the town of Arsal killing 9 people, including 5 children from the Hujeiri family, and injuring 13 others. Head of the municipality of Arsal, Ali Al-Hujeiri, accuses Hezbollah of launching the rockets from Al-Qa’a but the army assures that they came from Syria.
  • Initial investigations identify the suicide bomber involved in the Hermel attack as Hussein Ghandour who is thought to have been a supporter of Sunni cleric Sheikh Ahmad Al-Assir.
  • Clashes pick up again between Jabal Mohsen and Bab El-Tebbaneh, killing one person and injuring others.
  • On the STL’s third day of hearings, the Prosecution asserts that Hariri was tracked for 50 days before his assassination and brands Mostafa Badr as having orchestrated the entire assassination. Badreddine’s lead counsel, Antoine Korkmaz, says that the Prosecution presented nothing new.
  • Hezbollah’s officer for international relations, Ammar Mussawi, discusses regional and local developments with Emmanuel Bonne, French President’s adviser for Middle East affairs. Bonne also meets PM Najib Mikati, Speaker Nabih Berri and other former President Amine Gemayel.
  • Head of the Iranian Shura Council, Ali Larijani, reports that Iran would give its life for Hezbollah.
  • Army Commander General Jean Qahwaji addresses military attachés and emphasizes that the Lebanese Army will not step into random uncalculated ventures.

January 18

  • Injuries sustained in renewed clashes in Tripoli.
  • Trash piles up along the streets of Beirut and Mount Lebanon after the Sukleen waste management company halts its work due to the residents of Naameh protesting against waste being dumped in the Naameh landfill.
  • Lebanese and Israeli Armies on alert following Israel’s installation of spying devices in a disputed zone.
  • The Lebanese Army Command announces that the rockets fired at Arsal, Ras Baalbeck and Al-Fakiha originated from east Arsal, which straddles both Lebanon and Syria.
  • Lebanese Forces leader describes Hariri’s statement as indicative of good will and says “there will be no return to the Army-People-Resistance trilogy”.

January 19

  • Following their meeting with PM-designate Tamam Salam, the residents of Naameh agree to halt the protest for 48 hours and make way for Sukleen’s waste disposal trucks until a solution is reached. Sukleen resumes its cleaning operations in Beirut during the night.
  • 1 killed and 21 injured in Tripoli’s clashes.

January 20

  • During talk show appearance on Future TV, former PM Saad Hariri reiterates his alliance with the March 14 Forces and expresses willingness to be in a cabinet where Hezbollah has a part, yet refusing the Army-People-Resistance trilogy. He adds that the new government will focus on getting things moving, stressing once again that Syrian President Bashar Assad ordered the assassination of Rafik Hariri.
  • President Suleiman emphasizes in front of the diplomatic corps that the crucial events awaiting the country will occur on time, stressing that the new cabinet will see the light by the end of the week and that the ministerial statement will be discussed after the formation.
  • The STL continues its hearings and listens to the Defense, which questions the validity of the provided telecommunications evidence, arguing that the Prosecution has not addressed the motives behind Hariri’s murder.
  • Former PM Saad Hariri asserts to Europe 1 radio station that he will return to Lebanon before the elections in November 2014.
  • The 19th round of clashes flares in Tripoli, claiming the lives of 5 people and injuring 40 others.

January 21

  • A car bomb explodes in Al-Arid Street, 60 meters away from the bomb that hit the same street on January 2, killing 4 people and injuring 36 others. Investigations reveal that a suicide bomber administered the attack and that the car used in the operation was a Kia stolen from Kfarhbab in October 2013 and laden with 15 kilograms of explosives. Lebanon’s An-Nusra Front claims responsibility for the explosion and charges the Sunni against Hezbollah.
  • Investigative findings implicate Nabil Moussawi in the theft of the cars blown up in Hermel and the southern Suburbs. Moussawi is a member of a group that used to sell stolen cars to Maher Tlais who, in turn, would sell them to militants in Syria.
  • Clashes continue in Tripoli claiming the lives of 7 people and injuring 27 others, including 7 Lebanese Army soldiers.
  • Following the Reform and Change Bloc’s weekly meeting, General Michel Aoun reiterates the right of every political part to nominate its representatives in the cabinet, insinuating that he intends to hold onto the two ministerial portfolios he controls- Ministry of Energy and Water and Ministry of Telecommunications. Aoun adds that the principle of rotation of portfolios is a punishment for successful ministers.
  • The dignitaries of the town of Arsal hold a meeting deploring the explosion that hit the Southern Suburbs and emphasizing that the attack came in reply to the targeted shelling at Arsal.
  • Trucks of the waste management company Sukleen blocked once again from accessing the Naameh landfill.

January 22

  • An armed Islamic group releases a video slamming former PM Saad Hariri for shaking hands with Hezbollah and urging the army to strike with an iron fist in Tripoli.
  • Security Forces arrest the rap singer, Hussein Sharafeddine, on the suspicion of him being a suicide bomber.
  • Calm returns to Tripoli following the death of a Lebanese soldier in an attack on the military.
  • The STL resumes its proceedings and starts listening to testimonies. Spokesman Martin Youssef reports that the number of witnesses amounts to 500.
  • LF leader Samir Geagea announces that the participation of the Lebanese Forces in the government is tied to listing the Baabda Declaration as a single political paragraph in the ministerial statement.

January 23

  • Sami Marroush, a former advisor to the Progressive Socialist Party leader, Walid Jumblat, is found dead with shots to his head near Aley. The murder of Marroush, who had returned from the US a week earlier, sparks a series of protests in the area.
  • Residents of Naameh allow Sukleen’s trucks to dump garbage in their landfill after an agreement was reached and MP Walid Jumblat pledges to have the landfill closed for good by January 17, 2015.
  • The STL continues to hear testimonies and former detective Robyn Frase addresses the images captured by the surveillance cameras of the canter van carrying the explosives.
  • Ibrahim Abdul Moti Abou Muaileq, a Palestinian member of the al-Qaeda-linked Abdullah Azzam Brigades dies of wounds he sustained during a shoot-out with the military in Bar Elias, Beqa’a.
  • Director General of Finance Alain announces in a press conference that the Ministry’s staff has completed the examination of public accounts, a step that has been suspended since 1997.

January 24

  • The An-Nusra Front threatens Hezbollah and urges the Sunni to avoid Hezbollah areas.
  • Demonstrators re-open the road leading to the Naameh landfill and threaten to resume their sit-ins if no solution is found 15 days after the formation of the cabinet.
  • US Ambassador to Lebanon, David Hale, holds talks with PM-designate Tamam Salam, former PM Fouad Seniora, General Michel Aoun and MP Walid Jumblat.

January 25

  • Ceremony held in Hazmieh to commemorate the slain Elie Hobeika.
  • MP Ghazi Aridi represents MP Walid Jumblat in the funeral held for murdered PSP member, Sami Marroush, refuting all suggestions of a rift between the two.
  • Abou Sayyaf al-Ansari pledges allegiance to Daesh from Tripoli and calls on Sunni enrolled in the Lebanese Army to defect and repent.
  • Former PM Saad Hariri urges the Sunni not to slide into the war between Hezbollah and Al-Qaeda.

January 26

  • Muslim scholars protest near Lebanon’s Ministry of National Defense, demanding the release of Sheikh Omar Al-Atrash suspected of having links to groups responsible for the car bombings hitting Lebanon and accusing the Army of hostility against the Sunni.
  • Minister Gebran Bassil refuses portfolio rotation, stressing that the energy portfolio is strategic to the Christians.
  • A ceremony is held in Meniyeh to mark the 6th anniversary of the assassination of ISF Major Wissam Eid and his bodyguard under the patronage of former PM Saad Hariri.
  • US Ambassador David Hale leaves for Riyadh to discuss with Saudi officials international support for Lebanon.

January 27

  • Iranian Ambassador to Lebanon receives MP Walid Jumblat and the meeting tackles the latest developments.
  • In response to the accusations thrown at the Army, President Michel Suleiman assures, following his meeting with Army Commander, General Jean Qahwaji, that the Lebanese Army is acting in conformity with the laws and the national interest.
  • Mysterious blasts erupt in an Israeli army post near the Lebanese border town of Adaisseh.
  • Minister of Energy and Water Gebran Bassil reports that the initial scans for oil were promising.

January 28

  • For the ninth time, Speaker Nabih Berri adjourns the legislative session until March 4 due to lack of quorum.
  • Former PM Fouad Seniora meets Sheikh Sabah Ahmad Al-Sabah in Kuwait.
  • Former Minister Michel El-Murr holds a banquet to honor his son, Elias El-Murr, for his new INTERPOL position in the presence of Lebanese President Michel Suleiman, PM-Designate Tammam Salam, and other senior officials. General Michel Aoun and MP Walid Jumblat both were absent.
  • Following the Change and Reform Bloc’s weekly meeting, General Michel Aoun slams PM-designate for tampering with the criteria of proper cabinet formation and urges him to relinquish his position.
  • STL continues to hear testimonies of prosecution witnesses.

January 29

  • Hezbollah politburo member, Mahmoud Qmati, announces in the name of the delegation visiting General Michel Aoun that those who called for portfolio rotation agreed to keep the energy and telecoms portfolios with Aoun.
  • State Commissioner to the Military Court Judge Saqr Saqr charges Jamal Daftardar and 12 others with ties to the Abdullah Azzam Brigades.
  • Speaker Nabih Berri says following Wednesday’s meeting he has done his part with regard to the efforts of forming the cabinet and is awaiting the results.
  • Youssef Medhat As-Saghir, a Lebanese citizen from Bekaasafrin dies while fighting alongside the Syrian opposition.
  • Muslim scholars continue their visits to top officials, including Justice Minister and ISF acting Director General, to demand the release of Sheikh Omar Al-Atrash.

January 30

  • Lebanese Army Intelligence refers Sheikh Omar Al-Atrash to the military judiciary after investigations have proved his involvement in the latest explosions and his ties to suicide bombers linked to Daesh and An-Nusra Front.
  • Minister of Energy and Water Gebran Bassil stresses on Kalam El-Nass talk show that Hezbollah is not designated to negotiate on behalf of the Free Patriotic Movement.
  • “It is sad that the fate of Christians and their strategic status is now a function of oil and gas,” says MP Boutros Harb following his meeting with US Ambassador David Hale.
  • Lebanese professor, who has invented a new technique that turns garbage to coal, shows the end product of his invention in Ashrafieh.

January 31

  • Lebanese Army Commander heads to KSA to discuss means to improve bilateral military cooperation.
  • In a statement issued following his meeting with MP Moueen Merhbi and a number of Muslim scholars from Tripoli and the North, MP Khaled Daher slams the Lebanese Army for becoming a tool manipulated by Hezbollah.
  • During an interview with the pan-Arab, Beirut-based al-Mayadeen television, General Michel Aoun assures that he has not yet decided whether or not he would run for presidency, reiterating that he rejects the principle of portfolio rotation as it is not stipulated by the constitution.