Lebanese govt approves statement to allow citizens to "resist and repel" Israeli occupation, attacks
Lebanese residents in southern Lebanon inspect the damage to their homes after Israel launched bombs into its neighboring country this weekend (Mahmoud Zayyat/AFP)
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Lebanon's government released a policy statement Friday that gives citizens the right to resist Israeli occupations or attacks, according to Reuters.
"Based on the state's responsibility to preserve Lebanon's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity and the security of its citizens, the government affirms the duty of the state and its efforts to liberate the Shebaa Farms and Kfar Shouba Hills and the Lebanese part of Ghajar through all legitimate means. [It also] affirms the right of Lebanese citizens to resist Israeli occupation and repel aggressions and recover occupied territory, " the government statement said.
Information Minister Ramzi Jreij told reporters that the majority of ministers had agreed on the statement that declares "Lebanese citizens have the 'right to resist Israeli occuption' and 'repel' any Israeli attack."
The compromised statement follows weeks of discussion and dispute that almost left Beirut paralyzed with Lebanese party factions in tension with others, particularly the Hezbollah-led political coalition who wanted the statement to guarantee its right to fight Israel and maintain its weapons arsenal. Prime Minister Tammam Salam will now put the statement to a vote of confidence.
Israel recently fired tank rounds into Southern Lebanon Saturday in what Tel Aviv described as a "retaliation" for Lebanese bomb strikes that allegedly targeted Israeli soldiers. No injuries or deaths were reported from either side.
The Israel-Lebanon border has not witnessed excesssive clashes and has remained relatively quiet since the 2006 war between Hezbollah and Israel. However, Israel still controls at least three areas near the border that are considered Lebanese territory.
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