BEIRUT: Future Movement MP Ammar Houri said that Monday’s incident in which the Lebanese Army fired to repel Israeli troops who had crossed the Blue Line into south Lebanon was proof that the military represents all Lebanese citizens.
"It is clear that the Lebanese Army is required to make sacrifices to defend the homeland and [Monday’s incident shows] that the army represents all the Lebanese people,” Houri told a local radio station Monday.
Israeli troops traded fire with the Lebanese Army Monday after crossing the Blue Line into south Lebanon. No casualties were reported.
A security source in south Lebanon told The Daily Star that a seven-man Israeli unit crossed the Blue Line after daybreak Monday, a few meters into Lebanon’s Wazzani River area, prompting the Lebanese Army to open fire.
During their retreat, Israeli troops fired at a Lebanese Army outpost but no casualties were reported, the security source added.
Houri called for the Lebanese Army to be given "support and … every possible means to improve its defense capabilities and enable it to better perform, to implement decisions taken by the political authority.”
Turning to the issue of all-party talks on a defense strategy for Lebanon, Houri said: “We are confident that President Michel Sleiman wants the dialogue to be a success to be in line with the inaugural speech."
He reiterated the stance of the Future-led March 14 coalition regarding dialogue, saying the alliance would only join talks if Hezbollah arms were the only item on the agenda, in addition to setting a time limit on the dialogue session.