Lebanon rejects Hezbollah involvement in a recent rocket attack on Israel, suggesting that the launch may have been a ploy by Tel Aviv.
In a ceremony in the southern Lebanese city of Nabatiyeh, Labor Minister Mohammed Fneish said Lebanon was not involved in the recent rocket attacks on Israel and denied having any further information regarding the incident.
“It is not on us to safeguard Israeli security or find the perpetrators. UNIFIL forces must find and apprehend the rocket launchers,” Fneish added.
Several rockets were fired across the Lebanese border and into Israel on Wednesday; Tel Aviv responded by firing a barrage of rockets into southern Lebanon.
Hezbollah and Palestinian factions have dismissed involvement in the attacks. Israeli forces have, meanwhile, massed along the Lebanese border and are speculated to be planning to open a second front by waging war on Lebanon.
“Targeting southern Lebanon was unacceptable as we know that the Zionist enemy is taking advantage of the situation for an incursion into Lebanon,” said the Lebanese minister.
Israel waged war on Gaza on December 27 and later put all its forces on full alert, claiming that the Lebanese Hezbollah may retaliate over the offensive into the impoverished strip.
Fneish touched on the issue, saying that the threat of war is not limited to Gaza and “will extend to the Muslim world”.
He cautioned Israel to “think twice before planning a second attack on Lebanon as the resistance movement, which defeated Israelis in the summer of 2006, is stronger and more experienced now and will easily repel aggressors.”
“The atrocities committed in Gaza are aimed at obliterating the resistance… but even after 3 weeks of Israeli aggression, resistance fighters have yet to surrender,” he continued, suggesting that Israel would not be able to occupy Gaza in the long run.
Leader of Lebanon’s Progressive Socialist Party (PSP), Walid Jumblatt also rejected Lebanese involvement in the attacks saying, “Firing rockets at Israel would in no way help the Palestinian cause.”
“There is no need for rocket attacks to strengthen Arab solidarity or force Beirut to participate in the Arab conference to help Gaza,” explained the Druze heavyweight.
Jumblatt called for an end to all disagreements among Arabs on the issue of Gaza, saying it is only unity that can benefit the Palestinians.