Poisonous operation

Lebanese soldiers find rockets in south Lebanon, Friday, July 11, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari)

The firing of rockets from southern Lebanon into Israel Friday should serve as a wake-up call to national leaders, as if they needed one, about the sensitivity and volatility of the situation.

Those who carried out the act didn’t do so out of a concern with the national interest of Lebanon, or even the interest of the Palestinian people. They were trying to sow further chaos by dragging Lebanon into the conflict raging further south, with little appreciation for the immense difficulties that this country already faces.

In recent years, the authorities have arrested people for launching rockets at Israel and Friday’s incident proved no different. The news that one of those detained was wounded while trying to fire the rocket also demonstrates how the incident was hardly a well-planned, coordinated military action, but rather a clumsy political message.

Now is not a time for vague statements and flights of fancy rhetoric. It is a time for concerted action and being transparent with the public about the repercussions for Lebanon if it is somehow dragged into the military offensive raging to the south.

All political factions should work together in order to ensure that the country is spared any adventure that it cannot tolerate, as it is already suffering – in several hugely significant ways – from the bloody conflict underway in Syria.

Lebanon these days represents a patient who has spent considerable time in the intensive care unit, and bringing it into the Israel versus Gaza war represents a very dangerous, if not fatal, scenario.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on July 12, 2014, on page 7.




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