Lebanon’s Maronite Patriarch Says Country’s Army Should Stop Hizbullah Rockets
Lebanon’s Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros al-Rahi during his homily at Sunday Mass called on the Lebanese army to take control of the country’s south, which is under the thumb of Hizbullah, and to “prevent the launching of missiles from Lebanese territory, not for the sake of Israel’s safety, but rather for the safety of Lebanon.”
“We want to end the military logic and war and adopt the logic of peace and the interest of Lebanon and all the Lebanese,” Rahi said, according to Lebanon’s National News Agency.
The cleric said that the Maronites “condemn the periodic Israeli violations against southern Lebanon, and the violation of Security Council Resolution No. 1701, as well as the heated tension in the border areas of residential villages and their surroundings,” and 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,” He added: “We do not want to involve Lebanon in military operations that provoke devastating Israeli reactions.”
Hizbullah took responsibility for 19 rockets fired from southern Lebanon into northern Israel on Friday, leading to retaliatory airstrikes by the Israel Defense Forces.
Rahi previously has criticized Hizbullah’s control of southern Lebanon and has called on Hizbullah and the Lebanese army to refrain from entering into any regional wars and instead focus on the country’s problems and needs.