BEIRUT: Hezbollah MPs Nawar Sahili and Ali Ammar accused the Future Movement Tuesday of exemplifying a militia and imposing its views on others.
“The tragic events which resulted in the death of several Lebanese [in Beirut] confirm that the Future movement is a militia in every sense of the word,” Sahili said in a statement, referring to Monday’s clashes between Future Movement supporters and their rivals in the Arab Movement Party.
In a separate statement Tuesday, Hezbollah MP Ali Ammar described the clashes as an attack on the offices of the Arab Movement Party, which is allied with Hezbollah, saying it was a violation of Beirut’s sanctity.
“The attack by the Future Movement's militia on the center and members of the Arab Movement Party in Tariq al-Jadideh in the heart of Beirut using light and medium weaponry for many hours is a violation of Beirut's sanctity and a crime punishable by law,” Ammar said.
He added that damage to buildings and properties was readily apparent.
Ammar also said that perpetrators should be punished to prevent the occurrence of similar incidents in the future and to bring the Future Movement back to “its right mind.”
Three people were killed and 15 others were wounded during the five-hour clashes in the Beirut neighborhood of Tariq al-Jadideh, raising the specter of instability engulfing more areas of the country.
Last week, supporters and opponents of President Bashar Assad clashed in the northern city of Tripoli leaving at least 11 killed and over 100 wounded.
The fighting was followed by the killing of two sheikhs including prominent Sheikh Ahmad Abdel-Wahed by army gunfire at a checkpoint in Akkar, north Lebanon. In response, enraged protesters blocked roads across the country including Beirut and Sidon.
In his statement Tuesday, Sahili said that the Future Movement attempted to impose its viewpoint by force of arms which he said was contrary to the ethics they claim.
“The Future Movement with its armed militia does not allow the state to play its role and is trying to be its substitute when the state is not under its command and political orientation,” he added.
Future Movement politicians have repeatedly criticized what they describe as arms outside the jurisdiction of the state, asking the resistance party to surrender its weapons to the army.
Hezbollah has maintained that its arms are directed at Israel and necessary to combat the Jewish state’s violations of Lebanon’s sovereignty.
Meanwhile, head of the Future Movement Saad Hariri said on his Twitter feed Tuesday that he would reject arms as long as he is alive.
Asked about his response to reports that his party was showcasing its military power, Hariri said: “The problem is that some people kill the victim and walk in his funeral and accuse his relatives of his murder when they ask for righteousness and justice.”
“Arms [will remain] unacceptable for as long as I live,” he added.
The former prime minister whose Cabinet collapsed last year after Hezbollah ministers and their allies resigned from the government also called on the Lebanese to have faith in their country, adding that those who try to incite an angry reaction will fail given his "resolve for peace" in Lebanon.