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Lebanon awaits fallout of Israel’s Gaza attack

Flame and smoke rise during an Israeli air strike, amid Israel-Gaza fighting, in Gaza City on Saturday. (Reuters)
Flame and smoke rise during an Israeli air strike, amid Israel-Gaza fighting, in Gaza City on Saturday. (Reuters)
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07 Aug 2022 12:08:16 GMT9
07 Aug 2022 12:08:16 GMT9
  • The Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs called on the international community “to rapidly intervene to promptly stop these attacks”
  • The developments in Gaza were being closely followed by Palestinian refugees in Lebanese camps

BEIRUT: Lebanon has strongly condemned Friday’s attack on Gaza by Israel.
In a statement on Saturday, the Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs called on the international community “to rapidly intervene to promptly stop these attacks, and call on Israel to abide by UN resolutions in order to preserve the safety of the Palestinian civilians who are badly suffering under Israel’s unjust blockade.”

The developments in Gaza were being closely followed by Palestinian refugees in Lebanese camps.

People in Lebanon are anxiously waiting to see what direction Israel’s military actions will take and whether they will be affected.

Reacting to the attacks on Gaza, Esmail Qaani, commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ Quds Force, said: “Hezbollah plans to deal Israel a fatal blow and eradicate it completely at the appropriate time.

“Israel’s security is decreasing,” he continued. “We will not stop fighting … and we will continue to stand firm.”

Hesham Debsi, director of the Tatwir Center for Studies in Lebanon, told Arab News that Qaani’s statement “falls under the category of reaction rather than action.”

“Every time Gaza is under attack from Israel, the Revolutionary Guards Corps launches its favorite slogan, stating that it will deal Israel a fatal blow at the appropriate time. We are still waiting for that moment. It is lame rhetoric made at the expense of Palestinian blood. No one believes it anymore. In fact, it serves the Israeli enemy.”

Hezbollah praised “the solidarity of the Palestinian resistance factions” and emphasized the need to maintain a unified stance, which constitutes the main factor in triumphing over the enemy.”

The group added that it “expressly supports the steps taken by the leadership of the Islamic Jihad Movement in response to the enemy and its persistent crimes.”

Sheikh Naim Kassem, deputy secretary-general of Hezbollah, said on Saturday: “We should know that Israel is criminal and hostile. Killing people — including a child — and injuring dozens in a residential neighborhood is a criminal act that shouldn’t go unpunished. Israel should be responsible for this punishment.”

Debsi said the main problem is that “a Palestinian party is putting Palestine at the service of Iran, in order to receive the blessings of its leadership. They are leaving the Palestinians to a miserable fate.”

He added that Israel’s escalation of violence came during discussions over the Iranian nuclear deal.

“This moment allows everyone to react,” he said. “Israel considers that the American stance is not strong enough. Iran considers this the appropriate moment to get the US to take the Revolutionary Guards Corps off the sanctions list, making it legal in Iran and the Arab region.”

Debsi believes that Israel’s escalation is not targeting Hezbollah, but the Americans and the Iranians.

“It is a filthy move from the Israeli side amid the Israeli elections, just like the killing of Ayman Al-Zawahri in Afghanistan by the (US President Joe) Biden administration serves internal American purposes,” he said.

Sheikh Ali Al-Khatib, vice president of Lebanon’s Supreme Islamic Shiite Council, said: “The enemy is playing with fire. It will destroy itself. The determination of the resistance and its people will not stop, no matter how great the sacrifices are.”

In a statement, the Shiite clergy called on the UN and the international community to “curb Israeli aggression,” and asked Arab and Muslim leaders “to take firm stances and measures against the aggression in support of the resistance and resilience of the Palestinian people.”

Ali Abou Chahine, leader of the Islamic Jihad movement in Lebanon, said: “The Israeli aggression is a declaration of war against the entire Palestinian people. Our people are involved in confronting this battle wherever they are.

“The response of the resistance will not recognize any red lines,” he continued. “The enemy started the attacks first and the resistance has the right to respond.”

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