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Samy Gemayel appeals for Hezbollah to disarm

1 min

In a speech delivered in his hometown of Bikfaya (Metn) over the weekend, Kataeb leader Samy Gemayel reportedly called on Hezbollah to cease hostilities with the Israeli army on Lebanon's southern border.

Samy Gemayel

In a speech delivered in his hometown of Bikfaya (Metn) over the weekend, Kataeb leader Samy Gemayel reportedly called on Hezbollah to cease hostilities with the Israeli army on Lebanon's southern border, saying that the country will not rest until the daily clashes that began on Oct. 8 stop.

"Hand over your weapons to the state, respect the law and the constitution, and we are ready to cooperate with you," Gemayel said, according to remarks made during a meeting with young members of his party and relayed by several local media outlets.

"Lebanon will not rest until the southern front is closed, because the country's misfortunes began there and will only end with its closure," he reportedly added.

Gemayel is also quoted as demanding that the Lebanese Army take charge of the country's borders "from north to south," adding that all Lebanese "have a responsibility" to prevent anyone "encroaching" on national territory. 

Calling for unity between "Muslims and Christians" to restore the country, which has been mired in multifaceted crises since 2019, Gemayel is cited as once again expressing his refusal to let a "militia" decide Lebanon's future on behalf of another state —  a likely reference to Iran, which supports Hezbollah.

The Kataeb leader is also reported to have claimed that Hezbollah launched its hostilities against Israel on Oct. 8, the day after the outbreak of the Gaza war, because it "does not want economic reform, but an economy of rents."

Gemayel reportedly went on to accuse Hezbollah of "blocking" the presidential election. 

The presidency has been vacant since Michel Aoun stepped down at the end of October 2022.

"Why have we still not been able to elect a head of state? Why has Lebanon been dragged into war, and why haven't we been able to take a decision on the Syrian refugee issue?" Gemayel is cited as asking — the last remark alluding to an issue that has been exacerbating domestic tensions, as well as between Lebanon and the UN and EU, since early spring.

© OLJ

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