Lebanon calls for ending Israeli war on Gaza

Lebanon calls for ending Israeli war on Gaza

PM Najib Mikati says key to peace is resolving Palestinian cause

By Wassim Saifuldine

BEIRUT (AA) – Lebanon’s caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati called Wednesday for ending Israel’s ongoing war on the Gaza Strip.

"We are concerned with the ongoing genocide against the Palestinians, namely in Gaza, based on our Arab identity and national and humanitarian considerations," Mikati said at an event in the capital Beirut.

He said Lebanon has hosted hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees since 1948.

"Our choice in Lebanon was and still is peace; our culture is a culture of peace based on justice and international laws," Mikati said.

"Our people will not accept the attacks on its sovereignty, national dignity, and territorial integrity, and on the civilians, especially children and women," he said.

The Lebanese premier said the key to peace is resolving the Palestinian cause.

"The essence of peace is that the Palestinian people live on its land under a free and independent state," he said. "It is in Palestine that the history of this region begins," he continued.

"No peace agreement can survive unless it guarantees the Palestinians' right of return," Mikati stressed.

Mikati renewed his public calls for maintaining calm and self-restraint along Lebanon’s border with Israel, fearing that the “destructive war in Gaza” could spread to southern Lebanon and beyond.

In August 2006, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1701, calling for a cessation of hostilities between Israel and the Lebanese group Hezbollah.

The resolution aimed to establish a demilitarized zone between the Blue Line (the border) and the Litani River in southern Lebanon, excluding only the Lebanese army and UNIFIL peacekeeping forces.

Tensions have soared along Lebanon's border with Israel amid cross-border attacks between Hezbollah and Israeli forces as Tel Aviv pressed ahead with its deadly offensive on the Gaza Strip, which has killed more than 37,900 people since Oct. 7 last year.

*Writing by Mohammad Sio

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