Naharnet

Williams Shocked by Number of Deaths, Use of Disproportionate Force by Israel in Maroun al-Ras

United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon Michael Williams has expressed “shock” at the number of deaths in the border town of Maroun al-Ras when Israeli forces opened fire on demonstrators on Nakba Day on Sunday.

“I am shocked by the number of the deaths and the use of disproportionate, deadly force by the Israeli Defense Forces against apparently unarmed demonstrators,” Williams said Monday after holding talks with Premier-designate Najib Miqati.

The “serious incidents along the Blue Line represent the worst violence since the cessation of hostilities between Lebanon and Israel in August 2006,” he said.

Williams reiterated the need for all sides to exercise maximum restraint, to prevent the recurrence of such violence and to strictly adhere to U.N. Security Council resolution 1701.

“The United Nations is also closely monitoring the evolving situation along Lebanon’s northern border and stands ready to lend its assistance to address the humanitarian needs of any displaced Syrian people in that area,” he said.

“In light of these developments, I stress my belief that it is critical to form a government in Lebanon as soon as possible to ensure that the country can address the security, political and economic challenges facing it,” he added.

“The sooner a new government is formed the better, the better for Lebanon and its people and the better for the region as a whole,” Williams said on Tuesday following talks with Phalange party leader Amin Gemayel.


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