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Lebanese Christian Leader: Israel War Was Catastrophe for Lebanon


A prominent Lebanese Christian leader says the month-long conflict between Hezbollah and Israel was a major catastrophe for Lebanon.

Samir Geagea was speaking Sunday at a rally attended by tens of thousands of his supporters in the town of Harissa, north of Beirut.

Geagea rejected Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah's claim of victory in the fight against Israel. The Christian former warlord says the majority of Lebanese feel their country has suffered a catastrophe that makes their present and future uncertain.

Nasrallah proclaimed victory Friday in a mass rally in Beirut attended by hundreds of thousands of Lebanese Shia Muslims. He also vowed that Hezbollah would hold onto its weapons.

Geagea says Lebanon will not become a strong state if Hezbollah continues to receive smuggled weapons and functions as a state-within-a-state.

The Christian leader's Lebanese Forces Party is a member of the anti-Syrian coalition in Lebanon's parliament. The coalition holds a majority in parliament and supports the pro-Western government of Prime Minister Fuad Siniora.