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israel-hezbollah-flagsIn response to Israel’s latest drone attacks in the country, Lebanon’s Higher Defense Council on Tuesday stressed “the right of the Lebanese to defend themselves with all means against any aggression”

“This is a right that is enshrined in the U.N. Charter,” the Council added in a statement, emphasizing that “national unity remains the best weapon in the face of the aggression.”

The Higher Defense Council  meeting was chaired by President Michel Aoun and attended by Prime Minister Saad Hariri, the ministers of defense, interior, foreign affairs and finance, and the heads of security agencies.

“The President underlined the need to defend Lebanon’s sovereignty and territorial integrity because it is a legitimate right,” the statement added.

Prime Minister Saad Hariri meanwhile told the Council that a complaint against Israel has been filed with the U.N. Security Council via the Foreign ministry.

Hariri  briefed the Council on his contacts with the international community, noting that “this is the first attack of its kind since 2006 and the first violation through which Israel seeks to change the rules of engagement.”

Following the meeting  Hariri spoke to reporters and said: “I reassure you that there is nothing to worry about and we only fear God.”

TV networks meanwhile said the Council decided to regulate “the import, purchase and sale of drone cameras.”

One drone came down and another exploded early Sunday in a Hezbollah stronghold in the southern Beirut suburb of Mouawad, damaging a Hezbollah media center and lightly injuring three people who were in the building.

On Monday, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command reported an overnight Israeli drone attack on its base in the Lebanese eastern border region of Qusaya.

Hezbollah chief  Hassan Nasrallah had on Sunday vowed to “do everything” to thwart Israeli drone attacks in Lebanon, threatening to down any unmanned aircraft that violates Lebanon’s airspace. He also pledged to retaliate from Lebanon against an Israeli airstrike that killed two Hizbullah members in Syria.

Earlier today  Hariri y called for a “high level of wisdom, calm, thoughtfulness and restraint” in dealing with the latest Israeli attacks on Lebanon.

Speaking after a cabinet session , Information Minister Jamal al-Jarrah said Hariri opened the meeting by “condemning the Israeli attacks on Lebanon and considering them a blatant violation of Resolution 1701 and a threat to stability in Lebanon.”

“This aggression is rejected and deplored and there are intensive contacts aimed at stopping these attacks and deterring the Israeli enemy from continuing its aggression against Lebanon,” Hariri added.

“There are major tensions in the region in addition to the economic crisis in Lebanon, and this requires us to show a high level of wisdom, calm, thoughtfulness and restraint, which are essential for overcoming the crisis and halting the Israeli attacks on Lebanon,” the premier went on to say.

Asked about Minister Richard Kouyoumjian’s demand during the session that the country’s decisions of war and peace be placed exclusively in the hands of the state and the government, Jarrah said “this is a permanent demand for the Lebanese Forces and most political forces.”

“It will remain pending until the approval of a defense strategy, on which President Michel Aoun and the Lebanese government are working,” the minister added, noting that the strategy cannot be discussed amid Israeli attacks on Lebanon.

“We must wait for the atmosphere to calm down and for the dissipation of the Israeli aggression threat against Lebanon so that we discuss it calmly,” Jarrah went on to say.

Calculated strike

Hezbollah is preparing a “calculated strike” against Israel in response to two drones that crashed in Beirut at the weekend, sources close to Hezbollah quoted Hezbollah’s number 2 Naim Qassem as saying  on Tuesday.

A reaction “is being arranged in a way which wouldn’t lead to a war that neither Hezbollah nor Israel wants,” one of the sources said. “The direction now is for a calculated strike, but how matters develop, that’s another thing.”

But Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah was quoted Tuesday evening as saying during a meeting with Shiite Scholars :” Go home to sleep we are are not in a hurry to strike ”

 

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