Geagea Slams Hizbullah's Shebaa Attack as Jumblat Warns of 'Turbulent Phase'

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea and Progressive Socialist Party chief MP Walid Jumblat were quick to react on Wednesday to Hizbullah's attack against an Israeli military vehicle in the Shebaa Farms, warning that Lebanon is headed towards a “turbulent” period.

The Foreign Ministry meanwhile condemned Israel's shelling of Lebanese territory.

Geagea said during a press conference: “Hizbullah does not have the right to involve the Lebanese army and government in a battle with Israel.”

“The cabinet and parliament should decide such affairs,” he added.

He warned that the Shebaa attack will have “dangerous repercussions on the Lebanese government and people and it could also have consequences on the army.”

Hizbullah claimed responsibility for the attack against an Israeli military vehicle in the occupied Shebaa Farms that left at least six Israeli soldiers wounded.

The party explained that it was in response to a January 18 Israeli airstrike on the Quneitra region in Syria's Golan Heights that reportedly left six Hizbullah members and an Iranian general dead.

Geagea continued: “The Lebanese government and people will bear the consequences of the Shebaa attack.”

“How can Hizbullah take such a step in Shebaa given its dialogue with the Mustaqbal Movement?” he wondered.

He questioned the purpose of the dialogue given “the party's expansionist plans in the region and the Shebaa Farms attack.”

“We were pleased with the talks, but it appears that Hizbullah is not being at all honest in its actions and claims,” Geagea stressed.

Its presence in Quneitra does not serve Lebanon or Palestine, but Iran's ambitions in the region, he remarked.

For his part, Jumblat expected that Lebanon will “enter a major turbulent phase” in the wake of the Shebaa operation.

He noted that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is seeking to make political gains through the Quneitra airstrike.

“Precautions should be taken should Israel launch an offensive against Lebanon,” said the MP.

In the evening, Jumblat took to Twitter to point out that "it is clear that the resistance's operation has reminded Israel that playing with fire is costly, but this does not prevent taking the necessary measures to confront any aggression."

However, he noted that "the operation occurred on Syrian soil seeing as the border is yet to be demarcated, and this was a very important, smart move."

Earlier on Wednesday, Speaker Nabih Berri tackled the operation during his weekly meeting with lawmakers at his Ain el-Tineh residence.

He confirmed to the gatherers that the attack took place on Lebanese territory.

Netanyahu had said in the wake of the Shebaa attack that “Israel is ready to react forcibly wherever it comes under attack.”



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