Lebanese Defense minister slams Israel for attacking civilians in S. Lebanon

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 Lebanese Defense Minister Maurice Slim on Thursday slammed Israel for attacking civilians in southern Lebanon, calling on the international community to find a political solution to the conflict in Gaza and Lebanon, the National News Agency reported.

“Israel’s attacks on civilians in southern Lebanon, the destruction of homes, the burning of forests and orchards, and its use of internationally prohibited weapons constitute a violation of international laws and conventions,” Slim said during his meeting with his French counterpart Sebastien Lecornu in Beirut.

Slim called on the international community to maximize its efforts in “finding a political solution to the conflict based on the rule of international law and relevant international legitimacy resolutions, establishing justice and realizing rights.”

The defense minister also stressed Lebanon’s keenness to preserve regional stability, reiterating his country’s commitment to international resolutions.

He added that Lebanon valued the sacrifices made by the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) over the past decades and its role in southern Lebanon, reiterating his country’s keenness to protect the force so that it can continue to perform its duties.

He added that Lebanon also appreciated the efforts made by France to limit the escalation and development of the conflict in the region.

For his part, Lecornu spoke of “the efforts made by France at the international level to reduce the escalation and avoid the expansion of the conflict,” stressing “the importance of maintaining stability in Lebanon.”

He reiterated his “affirmation of France’s support for Lebanon and the army,” pointing out “the importance of UNIFIL’s role in the south in maintaining security and stability in its area of operation.”

The Lebanon-Israel border witnessed increased tension for over three weeks after Lebanese armed group Hezbollah fired dozens of rockets toward Shebaa Farms on Oct. 8 in support of the Hamas attacks on Israel the previous day, prompting the Israeli forces to respond by firing heavy artillery toward several areas in southeastern Lebanon.

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