The protesters tried to break into the parliament building and were violently repulsed by security forces. According to medical organizations, more than a hundred protesters were injured, many of them in need of evacuation to hospitals.
The protesters claim government corruption, in the shadow of the difficult economic situation that befell the country. The explosion at the port, led to the outbreak of mass protest.
Among other things, they chanted slogans against the Hezbollah terrorist organization, which has become a senior partner in the government. They carried the figure of Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah out of cardboard – on a hanging rope.
Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab said today that the only way out of the country’s crisis is through early parliamentary elections.
Lebanese President Michel Aoun surprised on Friday when he said he did not rule out external involvement that caused the massive explosion at the port – by means of an explosive device or launching a missile into the area.
“The cause of the explosion is still unknown. The investigation focuses on several directions. First – how the material entered and how it was stored. Second – whether the explosion was the result of negligence or an accident. And third – about the possibility of external intervention.”
Hezbollah secretary general Hassan Nasrallah said it was a “tragedy” and denied that his organization had a place to store weapons in the port of Beirut.
• Like the ‘News’ Facebook page and stay up to date
“Hezbollah’s main task is resistance,” he said. “We do not know the port of Beirut. It is not our responsibility. We know the port of Haifa better.”
“I declare here openly, directly, resolutely, definitively, that we have no weapons in the port, by any means, no warehouse and nothing else, neither now nor in the past. No weapons, no bomb, no ammonium, no bullet, no ammunition – Nothing”.
Nasrallah also claimed that the explosion may have been caused by external involvement. “Even if the explosion was intentional – there is negligence here. No matter what the cause of the explosion was: a bomb, a malfunction, a fire or an airstrike, the question is what those materials did in the warehouse for six years. The way the leadership handles the failure is fateful.”
In conclusion he said, “We call for the culprits to be brought to justice and punished in the most severe way, and without leniency, regardless of his ethnic or religious affiliation.”