Lebanese demonstrations voice backing for Palestinian cause

Special Lebanese demonstrations voice backing for Palestinian cause
Demonstrators climb a border wall during a protest to express solidarity with the Palestinian people, in Adaisseh village near the Lebanese-Israeli border. (Reuters)
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Updated 17 May 2021

Lebanese demonstrations voice backing for Palestinian cause

Lebanese demonstrations voice backing for Palestinian cause
  • Public figures say Beirut must not let itself be used as Iran’s pawn in fight against Israel

BEIRUT: Demonstrations in solidarity with the Palestinians were held for the third day at the southern Lebanon border on Sunday as political and civil figures continued to call for Lebanon not to be involved in the developments in the region.

The Israeli soldiers across the border in the town of Abbasiya have been on high alert during the demonstrations and removed Palestinian flags that were raised on the barbed wire in the village of Adaisseh village on Saturday. The Lebanese army also remained on alert on the Lebanese side, conducting patrols along the border.

A number of Lebanese Future Movement supporters went to the border town of Marwahin to declare their solidarity with the Palestinians. MP Walid Al-Baarini said they had the support of the prime minister-designate, Saad Hariri.

A Lebanese youth was shot dead by Israeli soldiers as a group of young men stormed the barbed wire fence on Friday, carrying the flags of Palestine and Hezbollah. Rockets were fired from Lebanese territory toward Israeli settlements on Thursday night, but no party claimed responsibility for the incident.

Former MP Marwan Hamadeh said on Sunday: “It shows that Hezbollah is not in a hurry to abandon its cards, and Lebanon has become hostage to a decision that comes from Tehran.”

In his Sunday sermon, the Maronite Patriarch Bechara Al-Rahi called on “the authorities in Lebanon to control the southern Lebanese border and prevent the use of Lebanese lands as a missile launch pad.”

Al-Rahi said: “Be careful not to have some people involved directly or through auxiliary parties in what is happening, as this would expose Lebanon to new wars. These uncontrolled conflicts have cost all the Lebanese people enough. The Lebanese people are not ready to destroy their country again more than it has already been destroyed. There are peaceful ways to show solidarity with the Palestinian people without getting involved on a military level. Lebanon is committed to supporting the rights of the Palestinian people.”

He said that “what is happening between Israel and the steadfast Palestinian people is a dangerous qualitative shift in the course of the struggle over land and identity.

“We call on Israel to seriously and explicitly acknowledge that there are rights for the Palestinian people and that it is impossible for it to live in peace without accepting a viable Palestinian state. There is no peace without justice, and no justice without rights.”

Hamas official Ali Baraka said in a statement on Sunday that Hamas “does not need to launch rockets from southern Lebanon.”

“We call on everyone to stand with us, but we do not ask anyone to open fronts and expose their country to danger,” he added.