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Lebanon's Maronite Patriarch Calls on Army to Confront Hezbollah

Lebanon’s Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros al-Rahi called on Sunday, August 8, for the Lebanese army to take control of the southern part of the country, Hezbollah’s stronghold, and strictly implement UN Security Council Resolution 1701, after recent clashes between Israel and Hezbollah.

“We call upon the Lebanese army, which is responsible with the international forces for the security of the South, to take control of the entire lands of the South, to strictly implement Resolution 1701 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,” said Rahi during Sunday Mass.

The Maronite patriarch stressed that he could not “accept, by virtue of 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.”

On Friday, August 6, 19 rockets were fired from southern Lebanon into northern Israel, with the Iron Dome intercepting 10 rockets and 6 rockets falling in open areas near Har Dov, along the Lebanese border. The others fell inside Lebanon. There were no injuries or casualties.

It was the sixth such attack in recent months and the first in which Hezbollah admitted responsibility.

Alongside the stance against Hezbollah’s actions, Rahi condemned what he called “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.”

Rahi also claimed that the clashes were meant to “divert attention from the sanctity and glow of the Mass of the martyrs and victims of” the Beirut Port explosion when the first anniversary of the blast was marked last week. (JPost/VFI News)

“Lord, we pray that You would intervene on behalf of Your people, that You would protect and bring salvation to all in this region".