The National Bloc released the following statement:
In light of the continued Israeli attacks on the South, the Lebanese state remains unable to develop any clear vision to protect the country and its borders, and to allow for the return of the displaced to their villages and lands.
In contrast, Hezbollah seems determined to link Lebanon’s fate to that of Gaza, despite the dangers this decision entails, all while being unable to stop the criminal aggression against Gaza or deter the Israeli enemy from its escalating attacks on Lebanon and its threats of a devastating war — one that international diplomatic efforts have so far succeeded in preventing.
The National Bloc considers that the ultimate national interest primarily lies in putting a stop to the Israeli aggression against Lebanon and avoiding the outbreak of a regional war. Secondly, it is fundamentally associated with bringing an end to the war in Gaza.
The Lebanese government must seek to protect this interest by:
1- Adopting a clear political position, unlike the Prime Minister’s volatile and subservient positions. This would involve implementing Resolution 1701 and completing the demarcation of the southern borders based on the 1923 delineation. Such measures would pave the way for a return to the armistice agreement with international protection, as indicated in the letter of the Lebanese mission to the United Nations dated January 9, 2024.
2- Working towards strengthening national unity by emphasizing that protecting the South is a collective and shared responsibility that falls on all Lebanese. This initiative begins with reinforcing the Lebanese army’s deployment and military capabilities along the border, in compliance with international resolutions and what was stated in Lebanon’s letter to the Security Council. Hence the importance of transferring Hezbollah’s weapons to the Lebanese army, which would strengthen the army’s deterrence capabilities and preserve national unity. This step would establish that the decision of war and peace is in the hands of the Lebanese people, represented by the state, the ultimate goal being to ensure that “no authority exists except the authority of the government of Lebanon,” as outlined in the aforementioned letter.
3- Completing the diplomatic efforts undertaken by the Lebanese mission in New York by intensifying international contacts based on a clear and unified Lebanese position, not only to protect Lebanon but to support the struggling Palestinian people. The lawsuit filed by South Africa before the International Court of Justice against Israel on charges of genocide in Gaza demonstrates the effectiveness of diplomacy far more than mere rhetoric.
The National Bloc considers that Lebanon’s letter addressed to the Security Council constitutes a significant foundation for initiating the activation of the Lebanese state’s foreign policy. However, it emphasizes that this must be complemented by diplomatic efforts to stop the aggression, as well as a clear and consistent political discourse to this effect. Additionally, this must be coupled with internal efforts to strengthen national unity, starting with deploying and equipping the Lebanese army in the South, steering clear of any secret or public trade-offs on state institutions. Such dealings, pursued by some internally and externally, have often resulted in adverse consequences for Lebanon.