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rafik hariri  commemoration 6th gemayelPhalange Party leader Amin Gemayel accused Hizbullah on Monday of breaching the Baabda Declaration, revealing the formation of a committee to deal with the Syrian refugees’ situation.

“Hizbullah’s presence has clearly become more and more visible in border regions,” Gemayel remarked after the weekly meeting of the Phalange’s political bureau.

“This contradicts with the Baabda Declaration that stipulates that the Lebanese political factions should not get involved in Syria’s war.”

Gemayel expressed his concerns over the latest incidents in the Bekaa’s Hermel region: “It looks as if the border area is completely ignored and we are reaching out to concerned authorities over this issue.”

Three rockets and a shell fired from Syrian territory landed in Lebanon’s Hermel district on Sunday, causing material damage only, the state-run National News Agency reported.

Most shells in the past two years were launched from regime-held areas, but anti-Assad rebels last week claimed firing into Hermel’s countryside, threatening further attacks if Hizbullah did not stop fighting the insurgency.

Several shells landed in al-Qasr and neighboring villages on Saturday.

Last week, two Lebanese were killed in similar attacks.

Qusayr-based activist Hadi al-Abdallah told Agence France Presse that Hizbullah fighters were instrumental to the Syrian army’s advance.

“The only reason why the regime is advancing in the Qusayr area is because of Hizbullah’s troops. Hizbullah fighters advance on the ground, while the (Syrian) air force gives them cover,” Abdallah said via the Internet.

The former president revealed that his party has formed an emergency committee to deal with the issue of Syrian refugees in Lebanon, whose numbers, he noted, will keep increasing “as long as battles in Syria continue to intensify.”

“The committee will submit a primary report on the refugees’ situation and we will follow-up on this issue with international organizations and local authorities,” he announced, warning against the negative consequences the Syrians’ presence might have on the economic, social and security aspects of Lebanon.

“Officials are not dealing seriously with this issue.”

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees stated earlier in April that the number of Syrian refugees, who fled the turmoil in their country to Lebanon, have soared to more than 400,000.

Lebanon appealed in January for $180 million from Arab countries to help it meet the Syrian refugee influx that has threatened to bring the number of the displaced to 420,000 in June.

Tackling the cabinet’s formation, the Phalange leader expressed his support to Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam in his mission.

“Since the beginning we have suggested a national rescue cabinet. We now encourage a capable government that can adopt an electoral law as soon as possible and deal with other pending issues.”

Gemayel told reporters that his party does not oppose any electoral law that “protects Lebanon’s unity and assures true partnership”: “All suggestions proposed so far, however, do not fulfill these requirements.”

Naharnet

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