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Abbas Khaleefe, who works in a cable-television shop in a mostly Shiite neighborhood in Beirut, agrees. He also said the court is poised to reignite tensions between Sunni and Shiite Muslims in Lebanon. He said supporters of Rafik Hariri, who was a Sunni, will attack Shiite areas if Hezbollah members are indicted. “We will have to defend ourselves,” he said.

Mr. Souaid, with the March 14 coalition, said it will be Hezbollah that attacks, when Saad Hariri is renamed prime minister. Hezbollah repeatedly has called for peaceful noncooperation with the tribunal, but promised to “cut the hands” off anyone who tries to arrest its members.

“We are afraid that the Hezbollah [will] use arms once again,” said Mr. Souaid.

Not far from the cable shop, in his camera store, Mohammad Najjar said he just wants the political bickering to stop. As leaders battle it out in the press, he said, sectarian differences on the streets grow tense.

“Sunni is not talking to Shia,” he said. “Shia is not talking to Sunni. This is a major problem.”