BEIRUT: Israel’s 2006 war on Lebanon and its aggression against the Palestinian people today prove that the resistance is the only response to such an enemy, Speaker Nabih Berri said Saturday.
“It is as if Israel chooses July as a date for its aggression that only repeats itself," Berri said in a statement, "From the 1982 invasion of the Lebanese capital, to the seven-day war in 1993 in Lebanon where it carried out massacres, and the 2006 war," which began exactly eight years ago, on July 8, 2006.
“Lebanon proved throughout that 33-day war of massacres and destruction that the only response to such aggression is the resistance, which represents the only weapon for the people to repel the aggressor.”
“In July of this year, the Palestinian resistance resembles the Lebanese resistance in its confrontation with the Zionist aggression. Resistance is merely a result of occupation, aggression and constant threats of using force.”
Berri warned Arabs, the Lebanese and the Palestinians to refrain from being distracted by regional wars and turmoil, saying the region was facing conspiracies to divide it into small states.
“I would like to draw the Arab world's attention to the Palestinian cause and everything that is happening in the region," Berri said. These "wars only serve the interest of the enemy in order to exhaust our capabilities and cause us to neglect the Palestinian cause."
At least 120 Palestinians have been killed since Israel launched airstrikes earlier this week on Gaza, in the most serious hostilities between the Jewish state and Hamas since 2012. Israeli says the offensive is aimed at stopping rocket attacks it blames on Hamas. Rocket attacks from Gaza stepped up in frequency after a security crackdown in the occupied West Bank last month in response to the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens.
Future bloc MP Fouad Siniora said that Palestinians should unite in the face of Israeli aggression as a key to success, similar to how the Lebanese stood united in the face of such an enemy in the 2006 war.
“[I] call on the Palestinians to commit to national unity to emerge victorious against the enemy just like Lebanon did in 2006 during Israeli aggression on Lebanon,” Siniora said in a statement. “On the occasion of the eighth anniversary of the Israeli aggression on Lebanon, we remember the way Lebanese stood in solidarity with each other, which was one of the main pillars for our steadfastness that included sacrifices by resistance fighters to repel the enemy coupled with political and diplomatic resistance.”
Hezbollah has repeatedly accused Siniora, who was prime minister in 2006, of conspiring against the resistance group with the U.S. during the war. But the Future lawmaker has denied the allegations, saying he stood firm to put pressure on the international community in a bid to impose an unconditional cease-fire between Israel and Lebanon.
Siniora said the aim of Israel’s aggression was to serve a blow to Palestinian unity, which he noted would ultimately do away with the Palestinian cause.
“Therefore, the best way to face such an enemy is to commit to such unity because it is the only guarantee to restoring your rights,” he said.
Hamas and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas agreed to form a unity Cabinet of technocrats last month, ending years of division between the two main Palestinian factions. But Hamas still controls Gaza and the agreement has faltered after Abbas refused to pay civil servants who had worked for the party since it rook over the Gaza Strip in 2007.
Separately, March 14 ally Samir Geagea contacted Abbas by phone and expressed his “sympathy with the Palestinian people in these critical times,” Geagea’s office said.
The Lebanese Forces leader discussed with Abbas "the dangerous developments on the ground" and Geagea stressed on the need for the Arab and international communities to exert all efforts to put an end to "the humanitarian crisis of the Palestinian people.”