Al-Rahi urges removal of any rocket launchpad 'planted between homes' in south
Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi on Sunday said he rejects the spread of the Gaza war to south Lebanon, calling for a halt to the cross-border clashes and for "the protection of the Lebanese and their homes and properties."
"We demand the removal of any rocket launchpad planted between homes in the towns of the South that might draw a destructive Israeli response," al-Rahi urged in his Sunday Mass sermon.
"Let everyone respect (U.N.) Security Council Resolution 1701 and all its articles for the sake of Lebanon's welfare," the patriarch added.
He also voiced regret over recent attacks by southern residents against UNIFIL peacekeepers, noting that the incidents were aimed at hindering the U.N. troops' movements.
"We meanwhile repeat our gratitude for the countries contributing to these U.N. peacekeeping forces for preserving peace in the south," he added.
Since the cross-border hostilities began between Israel and Hezbollah on Oct. 8, more than 150 people have been killed on the Lebanese side, most of them Hezbollah combatants but also more than 20 civilians, three of them journalists.
Some 72,437 people in Lebanon are meanwhile displaced, according to the International Organization for Migration.