Lebanon denounces celebratory Hezbollah gunfire
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Lebanon denounces celebratory Hezbollah gunfire

Politicians condemn Nasrallah supporters who spread ‘fear’ by firing into the air during his Friday speech

Hezbollah supporters shout slogans during a speech by the group's leader Hassan Nasrallah on January 30, 2015 in Beirut (Photo credit: Joseph Eid/AFP)
Hezbollah supporters shout slogans during a speech by the group's leader Hassan Nasrallah on January 30, 2015 in Beirut (Photo credit: Joseph Eid/AFP)

Lebanese politicians spoke out Saturday against the volume of celebratory gunfire during a speech by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah and seeking prosecutions of those responsible for firing bullets wildly into the Beirut air.

It is common in Lebanon for supporters of political groups to celebrate with gunfire whenever their leaders give speeches.

On Friday afternoon the capital, Beirut, experienced particularly intense gunfire before and during a speech by Sheik Hassan Nasrallah. He spoke two days after his group killed two Israeli soldiers and wounded seven in a surprise attack along the Israeli border.

No casualties were reported, but top politicians called Saturday for a security crackdown.

Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi said state prosecutors should identify and charge Hezbollah supporters who opened fire.

“The streets of Beirut were turned yesterday afternoon to fields of fear,” said former Prime Minister Fuad Saniora.

In the televised speech, Nasrallah warned that his group “cannot be deterred” and that any Israeli action against it would not be unpunished.

“We don’t fear war [against Israel] and we don’t hesitate in facing it if it is imposed on us and we will be victorious, God willing,” he said.

“Everyone was saying that Hezbollah would not respond because of the Iranian [nuclear] talks, or [the war in] Syria. Now they know the truth,” Nasrallah told thousands of supporters in south Beirut Friday, addressing the public rally through a video link from a secret location.

The terror group congratulated itself widely on Thursday, touting Wednesday’s response as a masterful display of military prowess and intelligence acuity while collecting plaudits from abroad.

“Israel must understand that Hezbollah is wise but not frightened and always ready for war,” Nasrallah threatened on Friday, adding that the terror group had “the right to confront the enemy at any time, place, or manner.”

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