Former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Friday blasted Hezbollah for fighting on behalf of Syrian President Bashar Assad, claiming that by joining the civil war the militant group had forfeited its claim to bear arms against Israel.

“The idea ... that Lebanon needs the weapons of the resistance (Hezbollah) in order to face the Israeli threat... is an idea that has expired,” AFP quoted Hariri as saying in a televised speech.

Hezbollah’s weapons “have been shifted from fighting the Israeli enemy to fighting the Syrian people,” Hariri added.

The former leader further claimed that Hezbollah's weapons were being used “to instill fear into Lebanon’s political life.”

According to the report, Hariri's remarks echoed a statement by Lebanese President Michel Sleiman, who said on Thursday that Hezbollah’s arsenal should be at the service of the Lebanese state.

Just a few hours before Hariri's statement, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah emerged from hiding to deliver his first major address in years. At rally held in Beirut in support of the Palestinian conflict against Israel, Nasrallah said that eliminating Israel was in the interests of the Mideast region, and the entire Islamic world.

"Israel poses a danger on all people of this region...including Lebanon, and removing it is a Lebanese national interest," Nasrallah told hundreds of supporters in his half-hour speech.