After last week's surprise resignation by the Lebanese prime minister threw the Middle East into even further chaos, the terror group that now controls that nation continues to threaten Israel. The Times of Israel reports that the Lebanese president has backed Hezbollah, while also claiming the right to act against what he called "Israeli aggression":
“Lebanon was able to face the Israeli aggression since 1978 until the 2006 war. It was able to liberate its land. Israeli threats are still ongoing; the Lebanese have the right to fight and thwart it with all available means,” Michel Aoun said.
His comments followed a harsh statement by Arab League foreign ministers condemning Iran and its proxy Hezbollah, which it accused of terrorism and of supporting “terrorist groups” across the region.
At the same time, Aoun, a Christian ally of Hezbollah, said Lebanon rejected any accusation that its government “is a partner in terrorist attacks.”
“Lebanon cannot tolerate a suggestion that the Lebanese government is a partner in terrorist acts. Lebanon’s stance declared through its representative at the Arab League yesterday expressed a national will,” he said, according to the Lebanese news website Naharnet. “Lebanon is not responsible for the Arab and regional conflicts that some Arab states are witnessing. Lebanon did not carry out any aggression against anyone and it should not pay the price of these conflicts.”
Hezbollah, the only Lebanese group to retain its arms after the 1975-1990 civil war, forced Israel to withdraw from southern Lebanon in 2000 and continues to portray itself as Lebanon’s first line of defense. Hezbollah is also a member of Lebanon’s coalition government.
Iran also rejected the Arab League statement, saying the tirade was “full of lies” and the product of Saudi “pressure and propaganda...”