BEIRUT, Lebanon, Feb. 23 (UPI) -- Lebanese political leaders blasted Hezbollah for making aggressive statements against Israel outside the confines of the parliamentary system.
Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah lashed out at Israel in a speech commemorating the assassination of several of the Shiite resistance movement's leaders.
"If you hit our ports, we will bomb your ports and if you hit our oil refineries, we will bomb your oil refineries," said Nasrallah last week.
Samir Geagea, the leader of the Lebanese Forces political party and key pro-Western figure, said Nasrallah had no right to speak out against Israel, Hezbollah's al-Manar news service reports.
"The Lebanese people have not granted Nasrallah the right to decide an all-out confrontation with Israel," said Geagea. "The Lebanese granted the 128 members of Parliament, the government and the president the right to determine their fate and they didn't grant it to one of the parties."
Hezbollah emerged from June parliamentary elections with two Cabinet positions -- agriculture and administrative reform. In violation of a U.N.-brokered cease-fire, Beirut in 2009 passed a measure that allows Hezbollah to maintain an armed resistance in the face of an Israeli threat.
Geagea said defensive measures, however, were a matter for the state.
"Placing the decisions of war and peace with the Lebanese government is what spares Lebanon another war," he said.