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Kataeb Leader Samy Gemayel considered the Lebanese republic to be kidnapped, with the kidnapper holding sway over the country’s decisions.

“As long as the reality remains unchanged, the kidnapper will not allow the democratic process to yield anything beneficial for the nation. We are living under a new guardianship, with Hezbollah kidnapping Lebanese decisions, whether regarding peace, war, presidency. It is preventing the parliament from electing a president and hindering negotiations between the government and parliament on border demarcation. We witnessed how the maritime demarcation occurred outside democratic frameworks and institutional norms,” Gemayel said in an interview with “Al Hurra” television.

“We must distinguish between pre-2016, when President Michel Aoun was elected, and post-2016. Before 2016, the state was resisting Hezbollah’s attempts to seize control. We witnessed this in assassinations, deliberate disruptions, and May 7 events, where there was a clash between the legitimate state and
Hezbollah. However, in 2016, Hezbollah managed to take control over the state. Unfortunately, the majority of factions opted for a settlement that handed Hezbollah the state’s resources. We opposed this situation and refused to comply. The scene changed starting from Lebanon’s October revolution and the 2022 parliamentary elections,” he emphasized.

“The conflict intensified when Hezbollah lost the majority in the recent parliamentary elections and found itself unable to impose its presidential candidate. Consequently, it resorted to obstructing the electoral process to impose the president it desires,” Gemayel explained.

“The confrontation with Hezbollah has evolved significantly from what it used to be. There is a front standing against Hezbollah, through a parliamentary bloc, preventing it from imposing Sleiman Frangieh. This front succeeded in nominating Jihad Azour and successfully countered Hezbollah’s attempts to suggest to the international community that it holds sway over election outcomes,” he poi
nted out.

Gemayel deemed Azour’s nomination as one of the pivotal measures taken by the opposition to hinder Hezbollah’s control over the presidency.

“Including the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) in this opposition front is not on the table because despite its slight approach, it’s still far from what we aspire to. The FPM differs from Hezbollah and there’s a noticeable progress in its stance, but it’s not enough. So far, it hasn’t rejected the presence of illegal weapons in Lebanon or the Hezbollah’s monopoly on decisions of war and peace,” he stated.

The Kataeb Leader emphasized the necessity of forming a broad front.

“However, does the FPM consider Lebanon to be kidnapped, with others making decisions on our behalf?” he asked.

“When the FPM reaches this point, we will stand with it, but until then, we will work with those who are convinced by our principles,” Gemayel stressed.

“We are working to form a broad front that transcends sectarian divisions. It is imperative for everyone to understand that ac
hieving balance through this front with Hezbollah is tied to Lebanon’s fate. It requires us to set aside our freedoms, interests, and selfishness,” he indicated.

Gemayel pointed out that “Hezbollah deceives both Lebanese and Palestinians when it pretends to open a support front in the Gaza war. However, this front practically has no impact on the situation in Gaza,” he stressed.

“Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah initiated the attack on Israel. We must use accurate terms. He made the decision to open a front to distract Israel. Thus, he claims to have imposed destruction on Lebanon through his initiative. However, he did not distract Israel from Gaza because the destruction there is escalating, and the pressure has not decreased. Secondly, the south was destroyed, and his plan failed from all aspects. He claims to open the front under the guise of defending the Lebanese, which presents a significant contradiction,” he explained.

“The south is being destroyed, and Lebanese are dying due to Hezbol
lah’s decision to open the southern front on October 8th. Since 2006, there have been so-called rules of engagement that Hezbollah breached. They were set between Hezbollah and Israel through an agreement to not to cross their respective borders. However, in a recent interview, Nasrallah demanded Israel to return to the rules of engagement. Frankly, in comprehensive parties, there is the capability to brainwash and persuade people with matters that cannot be believed. Our problem is that we have a comprehensive party that works on brainwashing its supporters despite the contradictions. However, our minds and thoughts are free, and no one can persuade us with matters that cannot be believed,” he went on saying.

Gemayel stressed the need to restore Lebanon’s sovereignty, calling the international community to implement UNSC resolutions 1701 and 1559.

“The implementation of UNSC Resolution 1701 halts the war with enforcement mechanisms, while UNSC Resolution 1559 allows the state to assert its control over its
territories, disbanding Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias, and reclaiming its sovereignty,” he explained.

He stressed that any temporary settlement would only postpone problems that would later reoccur.

Regarding his readiness to meet the Maronite Patriarch Mar Bechara Boutros al-Rahi if invited, Gemayel said, “Let’s wait for the invitation and the agenda to decide.”

Source: National News Agency – Lebanon