Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi on Sunday said that the southern front with Israel has been ignited in order to “deviate attention” from the anniversary of the catastrophic Beirut port explosion.
Apparently referring to residents’ interception of the Hizbullah truck that was carrying a multiple rocket launcher in the Hasbaya town of Shwayya, al-Rahi said: “We stand by our people in the South to condemn the tense security situation.”
“They have grown tired, and they are right, of war, killing, displacement and destruction. And as we condemn the frequent Israeli violations in south Lebanon and the breach of U.N. resolution 1701, we also deplore the ignition of the situation in the border areas from the vicinity of residential villages,” the patriarch added.
“We also cannot accept that a party take the peace and war decisions outside the decision of the state and the national decision that is entrusted to two thirds of the cabinet members according to Article 65 of the constitution,” al-Rahi went on to say, referring to Hizbullah.
He added: “It is true that Lebanon has not signed a peace treaty with Israel, but it is also true that it has not decided war with it. It is rather officially committed to the 1949 truce and it is currently in border demarcation negotiations while searching for security and for overcoming its crises.”
Lebanon does not want to be “implicated in military acts that draw destructive Israeli responses,” al-Rahi said, calling on the army to “prevent the firing of rockets from Lebanese territory, not out of keenness on Israel’s safety but rather on Lebanon’s safety.”
“We want to put an end to the military approach and war and to endorse the approach of peace and the interest of Lebanon and all Lebanese,” the patriarch urged.