LIC Calls on the Lebanese Government to Disarm Palestinian Factions in Lebanon
Cross-border escalation prompts the Lebanese Information Center to sound the alarm
The recent escalation on the Israeli-Lebanese border is the result of a rocket attack launched from southern Lebanon. On April 6, thirty-four rockets were fired toward northern Israel from Lebanese territory, several of which landed in Israeli areas near the border. Israel responded with airstrikes against targets in southern Lebanon. Meanwhile, the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) announced that its units found and dismantled several additional rockets that were intended to be launched from the Tyre district in Lebanon.
In its close monitoring of these grave developments, the LIC noted the following:
First, Lebanese security forces and open-source reporting indicated that armed Palestinian factions in Lebanon were responsible for the rocket attack. The public threat made by Ismail Haniyeh, the head of the Hamas political bureau, while visiting Beirut that “the Palestinian resistance will not stand idly in the face of the Israeli aggression against Al-Aqsa Mosque,” reinforces this reporting.
Second, Hezbollah significantly increased its coordination with Hamas lately and Hezbollah’s Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah met with Haniyeh shortly before the rocket operation to review developments in Palestine and discuss the need for a “unified resistance axis” to fight Israel and its backers. Following the exchange of fire, Hezbollah officials voiced their full support for armed Palestinian operations.
Third, Lebanon’s caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati affirmed his rejection of any military escalation by armed groups using Lebanese territory. He also instructed the Permanent Mission of Lebanon to the United Nations in New York to submit a formal complaint against Israel to the Security Council for their bombardment of areas in southern Lebanon. Meanwhile, several Lebanese leaders condemned the Palestinian abuse of Lebanese territory for their military operations, and criticized Haniyeh’s visit to Lebanon, as well as Hezbollah’s involvement with the Palestinian militias.
Fourth, Foreign governments, including France and the US, and the United Nations through its Secretary-General, and its UN Interim Forces in Lebanon (UNIFIL) command, condemned the rocket attack from southern Lebanon. They warned of a worsening situation, calling on all parties to exercise maximum restraint, and stressing the need to avoid unilateral action.
As a result,
The LIC calls on the Lebanese Government to urgently disarm the Palestinian factions in Lebanon in accordance with the Taef Accord of 1989 and the abrogation of the Cairo agreement in 1987. During his last visit to Lebanon in 2017, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas himself rejected the presence of weapons in the hands of Palestinians in Lebanon and demanded that the Lebanese legitimate armed forces take charge of the security of Palestinian camps. “There remains no excuse for the Lebanese government to relinquish its authority over its territory and allow unsanctioned armed groups to undermine the sovereignty of the state” stated LIC President Dr. Joseph Gebeily. “Lebanon knows too well of the tragedy of violence and conflict and must avoid letting its territory and people be subjected to threats and attacks.”
Finally, the LIC once again insists the UN Security Council address the Iranian regime unlawful actions of sending weapons to Lebanese and Palestinians militias in Lebanon in violation of UNSC resolutions that forbid the transfer of armed materiel into Lebanon outside of the Lebanese government.
The Lebanese Information Center in the US is the largest grassroots organization of Americans of Lebanese descent, committed to building a free, sovereign, and democratic Lebanon for the good of the Lebanese people and in the interest of the United States of America.