Lebanon’s Maronite patriarch calls on army to confront Hezbollah
President of Lebanon, Michel Aoun openly condemned the criticism of Lebanon’s Christian Maronite patriarch after he expressed opposition to the Hezbollah, warning that insults must be avoided to safeguard national unity.
Hezbollah, which is the Iran-backed Shi’ite group has been the root cause of several wars and terror attacks in the region. After the recent cross-war between Hezbollah and Israel, Patriarch Bechara Boutros al-Rai, head of Maronite Church was sharply critical of Hezbollah. He believed that no particular group should have the power to decide on war and peace and urging the army to halt rocket fire from the south. His statement became even more prominent when last week Israel escalated its response to rocket attacks towards Lebanon by launching airstrikes on its army.
A spokesperson from the Israeli military mentioned that jets struck the launch sites from which the rockets were fired. Blame should be in the hand of the Lebanon military for the shelling. They were repeatedly warned that any further action from their side will only prompt attempts to harm Israeli civilians and Israel’s sovereignty.
Although, the new coalited government of eight-party members of Israel is trying to keep the peace under a fragile cease-fire that ended an 11-day war with Hamas’ militant rulers in Gaza in May. Several incidents leading up to this week’s rocket fire from Lebanon have focused attention on Israel’s border.
However, the Maronite patriarch stressed that he could not accept, under equality before the law, that a party decides peace and war outside the decision of legality and the national decision entrusted to two-thirds of the members of the government.
Maronite also stressed by saying that it is true that Lebanon has not signed peace with Israel, but it is also true that Lebanon has not decided war with it, and is officially committed to the 1949 truce. They do not want to involve Lebanon in military operations that provoke devastating Israeli reactions.