Daily Israel Report

Maronite Bishops Call to Disarm 'Palestinian' Terrorists

Lebanon's Maronite Bishops have called on Beirut to implement a deal that would dismantle 'Palestinian' terror bases in Lebanon
By Gabe Kahn.
First Publish: 1/4/2012, 9:02 PM

Maronite bishops in Lebanon called Wednesday for Beirut to implement a longstanding deal on the disarmament of 'Palestinian' groups outside their 'refugee camps.'

Voicing concern about the country’s “fragile” security situation, the bishops called on political leaders “to stand firm on a decision taken during [a previous meeting] of the national dialogue committee regarding the issue of weapons.”

During previous talks, rival leaders from the ruling March 8 and opposition March 14 coalitions agreed to dismantle 'Palestinian' terror bases outside refugee camps.

In recent months 'Palestinian' terrorist groups, including the infamous Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, have contributed to the declining security situation in south Lebanon.

The so-called National Dialogue, which was launched in 2006, has repeatedly been adjourned as a result of the successive political crises that have shaken Lebanon.

The primary aim of the talks is to agree on a national defense strategy vis-a-vis Israel. But a major stumbling block to reaching agreement has been Hizbullah’s arsenal and terror militias.

Hizbullah argues that the Lebanese Army is ill-equipped and as such its weapons are needed to defend the country against Israeli attacks.

The Future Movement of former Prime Minister Saad Hariri and its March 14 opposition allies have said the National Dialogue cannot move forward until Hizbullah's agrees to discuss disarmament. They charge the terror group has used its arms to undermine the sovereign will of Lebanon's people.

Lebanese Forces party leader Samir GeaGea has said Hizbullah has used 'resistance' as a pretext to unilaterally draw Lebanon into unwanted and devastating wars with Israel.

The bishops, who met in Bkirki, seat of the Maronite church, also urged political leaders to resume talks on a national defense strategy and said security matters should be discussed internally by Lebanon's security institutions.

A recent row between opposition leaders and the Hizbullah-dominated government of Prime Minister Najib Mikati over the presence of al-Qaeda in Lebanon has dominated Lebanon's press in recent weeks.