National Bloc: In support of the Palestinian people and in defense of Lebanon

Opposition parties and forces released the following joint statement:

"We closely monitor with deep concern the recent developments in occupied Palestine and the ongoing aggression against the Palestinian people for decades. The Israeli barbaric bombardment of Gaza continues to escalate, leading to crimes against humanity, war crimes, collective punishment, to the extent of 'extermination', which we condemn, reject, and call on the international community for immediate intervention to halt the aggression and provide protection for civilians.

At the same time, anxiety prevails among all Lebanese. Our nation and our people are at risk from uncontrollable Israeli aggression. Our country is completely surrounded by outside threats, and rampant chaos inside, manifested by a helpless government, presidential void, parliamentary paralysis, economic collapse, and an unprecedented refugee crisis.

Protecting Lebanon as a state and people must be a priority for all Lebanese powers that are keen on the national interest. Supporting the Palestinian people and their cause should not be through populist slogans and involving Lebanon in a futile war with regrettable consequences, but by building a state capable of providing political, moral, and material support to the Palestinian people. The Palestinians are fighting for an independent state with its capital in East Jerusalem, for their right to self-determination, the right of return, and the full rights of the Palestinian people advocated by the Arab Peace Initiative, which was launched at the Arab Summit in Beirut in 2002 when 22 Arab countries adopted the principle of "land for peace" and the two-state solution. This is the gateway to lasting stability, ending the conflict, and building a just peace. Therefore, we call on the Arab countries to adhere to the Arab Initiative and press for its implementation in the interest of all the peoples of the region, especially the Palestinian people.

Lebanon is in danger; protecting Lebanon requires the unity of its people behind its official and legitimate institutions, which have the exclusivity of the decision of war and peace and the right to use arms; as well as the urgency of electing a president for the republic, forming an effective government, and a clear decision for the Lebanese army committed to Arab and international legitimacy and the resolutions of the Security Council, especially resolution 1701.

While we affirm our solidarity with the Palestinian people, we refuse to drag Lebanon into war. Protecting Lebanon is the duty of all Lebanese, and the establishment of the capable, just, sovereign, free, Arab-affiliated Lebanese state, is the greatest support for the Palestinian cause, and the most effective tool to confront Israeli crimes and occupation.

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