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Lebanese Christian Leader: Hizbullah Fired on Palace

Samir Geagea blamed Hizbullah for rocket attacks on presidential area Thursday, said it had declared war on Lebanon.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 8/5/2013, 9:24 AM

Hizbullah supporters in Lebanon (illustrative)
Hizbullah supporters in Lebanon (illustrative)
AFP/Mahmoud Zayyat

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea hinted on Sunday that Hizbullah is behind two rocket attacks on the Baabda presidential palace area last Thursday. He accused the movement of “declaring war on the state of Lebanon, its people and institutions,” Ya Libnan reported.

One of the rockets struck within the security perimeter of the Presidential Palace, and the other exploded within the security perimeter of the Army headquarters. The attack came hours after a speech by President Michel Suleiman on Lebanon's Army Day.

“The rocket attacks came the same day of the president’s speech on Army Day. They were launched from areas that come under the military control of a certain party,” Geagea said, in a reference to Hizbullah.

Noting that the launch pads for the rockets have not been loacted, he estimated that the rockets were placed on trucks in the areas of Dohat Aramoun and Bshamoun – and hinted that only Hizbullah has the ability to move freely in those areas.

Geagea called for “strong judicial measures” against the perpetrators.

Hizbullah's rocket fire appears to have been a reaction to President Suleiman's criticism of Hizbullah’s role in defending the Syrian regime.

“It has become urgent to examine a defense strategy, especially after the resistance’s arms have gone beyond Lebanon’s borders,” he said. In Lebanese political discourse, the word “resistance” usually refers to Hizbullah.

“The army’s mission would be impossible if a party or more from Lebanese people get involved in wars outside Lebanon,” Suleiman stressed, in another reference to the thousands of Hizbullah fighters who have been fighting alongside the forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian civil war.