Syriac Maronite Patriarch Mor Boutros al-Raï calls on Lebanese authorities to control border with Israel after rocket launches

BEIRUT — Syriac Maronite Patriarch Mor Boutros al-Raï called on the Lebanese government, armed forces, and political parties to control the border with Israel and prevent rockets being fired into Israel from Lebanon.

As the conflict between the Israeli government and Hamas continues, a number of Lebanese politicians and party leaders have staged demonstrations and delivered speeches on the Lebanese–Israeli border calling for an end to Israeli airstrikes. Several days ago, a group of Palestinians in Lebanon fired several rockets across the border.

Against the background of these events, Patriarch al-Raï called on the Lebanese government to ensure control over the border with Israel, warning of the danger of pulling Lebanon into a conflict.

“Beware that some will get involved directly or through bad parties in what is going on, and that they will expose Lebanon to new wars,” said the Patriarch. “Lebanon has paid enough price for uncontrolled conflicts.”

Patriarch al-Raï’s warnings are in line with criticism from Ibrahim Mrad, President of Universal Syriac Union Party (USUP), who stated shortly after the rockets were fired over the border, “Whoever fired rockets from Lebanese territory days ago, if they love their homeland, should fight from Gaza, not from Lebanon.”

Patriarch al-Raï has repeatedly called for international intervention in the country to ensure that corruption is stamped out and political reforms enacted. He has also advocated for Lebanon to adopt a policy of “active neutrality” to extract the country from violent and destructive regional politics.