Two days have passed since the explosion shook Beirut, and now Hezbollah is trying to channel public anger toward civilian systems, shifting its focus from the question of responsibility for the ammonia charge that caused the worst disaster in Lebanon and regional history.
On the other hand, Lebanese commentators have repeatedly hinted that Hezbollah is responsible for storing 2,750 tons of ammonia, which exploded and wreaked havoc across capitals, implying that the use of ammonia was intended for military purposes.
The President of France, Emanuel Macron, arrived in Beirut at noon and was scheduled to meet with President Michel Aoun.
The air train to Beirut also continues, and planes have arrived from Iran, Egypt, Algeria, Qatar, Turkey, Jordan and Kuwait.
Rage in the streets – shock to the government
In the streets of Lebanon, anger is growing and Beirut residents are demanding the leadership’s headline: In a series of videotaped articles, Beirut residents are being interviewed and demanding the heads of those responsible for the default even before they demand the bodies and body parts of their relatives.
So far, 140 people have been killed and 5,000 injured, and more than 200 people are missing. Serious allegations are now being made against the Lebanese government for not being able to locate the body parts or even identify them in the absence of post-mortem medical services.
Residents shout in front of the cameras “Our blood is not cheap but we want to be accountable to those responsible at the top of the pyramid and below”. Among other things, there are also allegations against the Lebanese army about its dysfunction and the fact that it has not yet been able to deploy tents for shelter or field hospitals.
Beirut residents say the Lebanese government is failing to recover even though the presidential inquiry commission set up by President Michel Aoun to investigate the incident has pledged to draw preliminary conclusions within five days. Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab also announced the establishment of a commission of inquiry that is expected to vote on the culprits within 48 hours.
Hezbollah remained silent for a long time and the organization’s secretary general, Hassan Nasrallah, who was scheduled to deliver the night speech, rejected it tomorrow, apparently in the shadow of public criticism among Lebanese citizens about the organization and the link between the big blast and the Shiite organization.
Even the evacuation works in Beirut are not being managed and hundreds and thousands of volunteers from southern Lebanon and the north have been reported to have come to the city to help with the works, while the government looks stunned and is not functioning well. The governor of Beirut has announced that hundreds of buildings are no longer fit for habitation and the number of residents who have lost their homes exceeds 300,000.
Beirut provincial governor Marwan Aboud says hundreds of thousands of Beirut residents will be able to return to their homes in just two or three more months following the Beirut port blast that left half a city devastated, he said. He even attacked the legal system that allowed the order to hold these substances which are a “nuclear bomb”.
On social media, the anger is growing and most of it is directed at the Lebanese government and Hezbollah, and this is known by surfers as the “Devil’s Party” that enslaved Lebanon and betrayed it for the rule of riots and ayatollahs and brought blood to the streets of Lebanon.
Ashtags on social media state that “Hezbollah’s ammonia burned Beirut” and others claim that “the dismantling of Hezbollah’s weapons is the first step in Lebanon’s reconstruction.”
Residents write on social media that “Shiite Hezbollah members must be removed from Sunni and Christian Lebanon.”
Newspapers in the Arab world cover the history of the explosions in Lebanon and Hezbollah’s responsibility for terrorist incidents in the country.
Experts interviewed in Lebanon hint at Hezbollah’s responsibility for the deadly ammonia charge, including a former senior officer who claimed that the ammonia could not have exploded as a result of the fire and that only an operating system had caused it. Another says that the assessments about Hezbollah storing the ammonia make the most sense.
Meanwhile, Hezbollah representatives are addressing the public and trying to convince them that the situation on the ground must first be addressed and all discussions postponed to the next stage. It is estimated that by doing so, Hezbollah is trying to equate the crisis with an administrative civilian rather than a military security character.
Lebanon’s health minister, who is close to Hezbollah, said last night: “This is a test moment for all member states. Politics should be put aside and no finger pointed at any elements claiming that they are behind the explosion.”
The Lebanese government is helpless
The Lebanese government is now trying to secure a supply of flour and shelters for the 300,000 residents who have lost their homes. The port of Tripoli announced that it had a sufficient stock of flour after 145 thousand tons of flour stored in Lebanon’s strategic reserves were destroyed in the massive explosion.
In the meantime, it has been decided that all those responsible for the port of Beirut since 2014, the date of arrival of the ammonia cargo, will be under house arrest and will be under military supervision.
Another decision made subordinates all the armed forces in Lebanon under the Supreme Military Authority and also the state of emergency declared at 10 essential, will be extended for another two months.
Unprecedented economic damage
For now, Lebanon does not seem to be able to even estimate the enormous damage, but officials are already claiming that the damage amounts to about $ 15 billion, although evacuation and rescue efforts have not yet begun within the port complex and these are expected to begin in the very next few hours. Meanwhile, the World Bank has already announced that it intends to assist Lebanon in its rehabilitation efforts.
The port of Beirut has fallen out of use and officials estimate that it will be at least three years before it can be rehabilitated. It is now clear that the port of Tripoli will not be able to replace the port of Beirut, which is Lebanon’s economic lung. Economic experts claim that “this lung has been fatally damaged and that Lebanese breathing capacity is in doubt.”
The damage expected from the shutdown of the seaport is estimated at about $ 50 million daily, direct or indirect damage.
The port of Beirut accounts for almost 70% of all Lebanese imports and exports and is the main bridge between Lebanon and Europe, Asia and Africa. The port operates in front of 300 ports worldwide and it hosts 3100 ships annually. The port also stores the strategic assets of the Lebanese government.
Jumblatt requires international inquiry
The leader of the Progressive Socialist Party, Walid Jumblat, called for the establishment of an international commission of inquiry into the blast, saying at a news conference: The present is hostile, “he said, calling it” this ruling gang. “
Jumblatt asked to explain the explosion: “Is it a coincidence or a conspiracy? Only the investigation will reveal” hinted that it is no coincidence that the ammonia charge, which was stored six years ago and that the explosion was caused spontaneously, has only just exploded.
Jumblatt stated that “there is a serious failure on the part of the judiciary and the security services and all the proceedings remind me of what happened after the assassination of Rafik al Hariri, so everyone tried in the first moments to conceal evidence. Now they are trying to evade claiming nothing to do with ammonia.”
Meanwhile, the International Tribunal, which was due to publish tomorrow, Friday, the conclusions of the investigation into the assassination of Lebanese President Rafik al-Hariri, decided to postpone its ruling until further notice, in light of the events in Lebanon and the tension.