On Friday, members of parliament from the Kataeb Party, the Lebanese Forces and the Renewal Party as well as three MPs from the Change movement (Waddah Sadek, Mark Daou, and Michel Doueihy), denounced the military maneuvers organized by Hezbollah last Sunday.

In a joint statement signed by 31 MPs and read in Parliament, they stated that these exercises, in which 200 fighters from Hezbollah participated in Aaramta, southern Lebanon, “are part of the militia practices it has been exercising in the country for years, contradicting the principles of the state in all its components.”

They declared that Hezbollah “no longer has a place in Lebanese political life and has been rejected by the majority of the Lebanese people.” This party has “no right whatsoever to push Lebanon into conflicts that serve its regional project, and cannot impose political, military, security, and economic agendas on the country,” they insisted.

They also announced that “Lebanon cannot coexist with a mini-state within it,” demanding the application of the Lebanese Constitution regarding the dissolution of all militias and the surrender of their weapons to the Lebanese state, and of United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1559 and 1701.

They also called for “an end to Hezbollah’s military interventions abroad and its interference in the internal affairs of Arab countries, which may jeopardize Lebanon’s historical relations with regional and international communities.” The issue of the parallel economy established by the pro-Iranian party was also addressed. The networks organizing this “economy through smuggling, tax evasion, and corruption must be dismantled,” the MPs insisted.

They considered that Hezbollah “should exercise its political activity in Lebanon like the other parties, according to the rules imposed by the Constitution and laws, and in respect of the principles of democracy and public liberties.” They emphasized: “Let Hezbollah and its allies in Lebanon and the region understand, once and for all, that the Lebanese people will not submit to the logic of force and arms.”

To mark the anniversary of Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000, Hezbollah organized on Sunday military maneuvers with live ammunition about twenty kilometers from the border with Israel, which sparked indignation among many political officials.