Lebanon’s Grand Mufti Hopes for Positive Results from Arab and Islamic Summits
Lebanon’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdel Latif Derian expressed hope on Thursday that the summits of Arab and Islamic nations being hosted by Saudi Arabia this weekend to discuss the Gaza conflict will achieve positive results. Derian affirmed that Lebanon and its people stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people.
Protests in Beirut
His remarks came as dozens of people protested in front of Dar Al-Fatwa in Beirut on Thursday, forcing the US Ambassador to Lebanon, Dorothy Shea, to postpone a planned visit to the religious leader. Protesters raised Palestinian flags and chanted slogans accusing the US of “being complicit in Israel’s massacres against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.” A protester said: “We are here to prevent the US ambassador from meeting the mufti. She should not be received or welcomed.”
Al-Fatwa’s press office said that Shea’s visit was postponed at her office’s request. The US ambassador is reported to have held talks with Lebanese officials to discuss Lebanon’s abstention from supporting Hamas during the Arab summit meeting. According to its declared official position, Lebanon “strongly condemns the genocidal war committed by Israel in Gaza and emphasizes the necessity to work internationally to push Israel to adopt an immediate cease-fire.”
In a statement on Thursday, Derian said that it was important for the US to end its support for Israeli aggression in the Gaza Strip. He called on Washington to pressure Israel to impose a cease-fire, adopt a humanitarian truce, and allow relief aid to arrive for the affected people in Gaza. Derian emphasized that threats of launching “seismic or atomic bombs on Gaza will not scare the Arab and Islamic nations, but will strengthen their belief in their rights.” He added that the problems of the region will only be solved when the oppressed Palestinian people are treated fairly.
Calls for Justice
“Justice will prevail only through establishing a free, independent Palestine, with Jerusalem as its capital, and with its mosques and churches, so Palestine can remain the land of peace and coexistence in the region,” Derian stated. He also warned against continuing Israeli aggression in southern Lebanon, saying that the Lebanese people “are united against the brutal and barbaric criminality manifested in killing children and women.”
Heightened Tension on Lebanon’s Southern Border
The grand mufti’s remarks came amid heightened tension on Lebanon’s southern border, with Israeli artillery targeting the outskirts of several Lebanese villages. Fires erupted in the villages of Ramyeh and Aayta Al-Shaab after Israeli incendiary shelling. Hezbollah targeted Israeli outposts, setting them on fire, while Israeli forces struck the Al-Kroum area with a drone missile. Israeli media outlets reported that an anti-armor missile was launched from Lebanon toward Margaliot in the Galilee Panhandle region.
Protests by Journalists
In addition to the protests by the public, dozens of journalists, media personalities, and photographers gathered in downtown Beirut to protest the deaths of Palestinian journalists. The death toll rose to 42 Palestinian journalists, including Lebanese reporter and photographer Issam Abdallah, who was killed by an Israeli army strike while working on Lebanon’s southern border.
As tensions continue to rise in the region, Lebanon’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdel Latif Derian has expressed hope for positive outcomes from the upcoming summits of Arab and Islamic nations. The protests in Beirut and the postponement of the US ambassador’s visit highlight the strong sentiments of solidarity with the Palestinian people in Lebanon. The grand mufti’s call for justice and an end to Israeli aggression resonates with many Lebanese citizens who condemn the violence against innocent civilians. The situation on Lebanon’s southern border remains tense, with both Israeli and Hezbollah forces engaging in attacks. The protests by journalists further emphasize the need for international attention and action to protect the lives of media professionals covering the conflict. As the summits approach, the world waits to see if they will bring about the desired positive results and help alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian people.