Grand Mufti of the Republic Sheikh Abdul Latif Daryan on Sunday slammed Hezbollah’s border tour for journalists and the party’s foreign roles
He also criticized the electoral law that was proposed by Free Patriotic Movement chief Gebran Bassil .
“All disagreements are permissible except over three issues: coexistence, state institutions and tampering with the security of the South. We can bear any burden except the burden of undermining coexistence and what is being said about religious or sectarian qualification violates the constitution and coexistence,” Daryan warned in an address to the nation marking the Isra and Mi’raj Muslim holiday.
Addressing Hezbollah’s border tour, the mufti said: “We reached U.N. resolution 1701 after a destructive Israeli war, so why create excuses for the enemy?”
“We do not need bloodshed, displacement and destruction after which we say that we emerged victorious,” Daryan added, in a possible reference to Hezbollah claim of divine victory following the 2006 war with Israel which resulted in the death of over 1200 Lebanese , mostly civilians, the wounding of thousands other, the displacement of over a million Shiites and the destruction of the Lebanese infrastructure .
“Since we have defeated the enemies one thousand times, I want us to triumph over ourselves, our ambitions, our greed and our ploys, even for a single time,” the mufti went on to say.
“My brothers, return to the greater jihad, which is the jihad of the soul, after you roamed east and west,” Daryan added, addressing Hezbollah’s members without naming them.
Hezbollah on Thursday brought dozens of journalists on a rare and highly-choreographed trip to the demarcation line between Lebanon and Israel.
“This tour is to show the defensive measures that the enemy is taking,” said Hezbollah spokesman Mohamed Afif, on a hilltop along the so-called Blue Line.
On Friday, the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) said contacts were underway with the Lebanese army over the presence of Hezbollah gunmen during the media tour organized Thursday by Hezbollah along the border with Israel.
“As to reports speaking of the presence of armed individuals among the delegation, UNIFIL reminds that this would be a breach of resolution 1701; and as per the resolution, the Lebanese authorities bear the main responsibility to verify the presence of unauthorized armed individuals in the area between the Blue Line and Litani River,” a UNIFIL statement read.
The tour sought to paint Israel as afraid of a new conflict, while depicting Hezbollah as ready for war despite having committed thousands of its fighters to bolstering Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad.
Faces smeared with black and green camouflage, the fighters stood silently holding guns and RPG launchers.
“We do not fear war, we don’t hesitate to confront it. We yearn for it and we will confront it if it is imposed on us, and God willing we will win,” a Hezbollah commander dressed in military fatigues and sunglasses told the reporters, reciting a famous statement for Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah.
Hezbollah MP Ali Fayyad claimed on Sunday that the controversial tour that his party organized Thursday for reporters on the Lebanese-Israeli border has been “deliberately misinterpreted” by some Lebanese parties.
“Some parties trying to stir disputes based on exaggerated interpretations and sometimes deliberate misinterpretation, especially that it is fully clear that the resistance is in a defensive position and that it is seeking to consolidate the state of stability in the South based on the equation of deterrence with the Israeli enemy,” Fayyad said.
Hezbollah’s “steps are aimed at preserving the equation of deterrence and preventing the enemy from pushing for the corrosion of this equation,” the MP added.
He reassured that “preserving stability in Lebanon and calm and security in the southern towns is at the core of the resistance’s policies and what it does is aimed at achieving these objectives and not the opposite.”
He also urged all parties to “take into consideration the explosive regional environment surrounding Lebanon, the reckless U.S. escalation policies, Israel’s provocative practices and repeated threats, and the poisoned policies of incitement that are being practiced by some regional forces.”
Fayyad’s remarks come three days after Prime Minister Saad Hariri criticized Hezbollah’s border tour during a landmark visit to the South. Several other Lebanese parties have also slammed Hezbollah’s move.
Hariri, who was accompanied by the defense minister and army chief, said his trip was intended “to tell the Lebanese armed forces that they and only they are the legitimate force in charge of defending our borders.”