Lebanese Politicians Blame Hezbollah for Financial Crisis

 A worker cleans up broken glass from a bank facade after overnight protests against growing economic hardship in Sidon, Lebanon April 29, 2020. REUTERS/Ali Hashisho
A worker cleans up broken glass from a bank facade after overnight protests against growing economic hardship in Sidon, Lebanon April 29, 2020. REUTERS/Ali Hashisho
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Lebanese Politicians Blame Hezbollah for Financial Crisis

 A worker cleans up broken glass from a bank facade after overnight protests against growing economic hardship in Sidon, Lebanon April 29, 2020. REUTERS/Ali Hashisho
A worker cleans up broken glass from a bank facade after overnight protests against growing economic hardship in Sidon, Lebanon April 29, 2020. REUTERS/Ali Hashisho

Head of the Kataeb Party MP Sami Gemayel said that Lebanon was paying the price for Hezbollah’s policy.

“No one has the right to drag us into the place they want, and no one has the right to impose on us a lifestyle that we don’t want,” he said.

His comments came in response to a recent speech by the movement’s Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah.

Gemayel emphasized that Hezbollah “cannot absolve itself from the economic reality that we have reached,” adding that the movement was preventing the army from closing the illegal crossings.

“We don’t want to live in isolation and be cut off from the West, Arabs and the entire world,” Gemayel remarked.

Addressing Nasrallah, he said: “We are not agents; rather, we are Lebanese. We consider you a Lebanese like us, and we ask you to join us under the constitution in order to build a new Lebanon.”

Nasrallah’s words were met with rejection, especially his call to resort to the East and deal with China instead of the US.

Lebanese Forces MP Pierre Bou Assi said on his Twitter account: “Well done, sir. Just like that, camels are driven; but we are not camels.”

He continued: “No; We will not sacrifice our last hard currencies to save the Syrian regime... Our dollars belong to our citizens, the depositors, and they alone have the right to benefit from them.”

For his part, former MP Fares Soueid replied to Nasrallah saying: “You give us nothing but sedition and backwardness.”

Soueid emphasized adherence to the Constitution, the Taif Agreement, saying that Lebanon cannot be ruled by an authoritarian group.



Israel Strikes Gaza, Yemen, Lebanon Foes after Attacks

Smoke rises from a building hit by an Israeli strike in Nuseirat in the central Gaza Strip on July 20, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. (Photo by Eyad BABA / AFP)
Smoke rises from a building hit by an Israeli strike in Nuseirat in the central Gaza Strip on July 20, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. (Photo by Eyad BABA / AFP)
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Israel Strikes Gaza, Yemen, Lebanon Foes after Attacks

Smoke rises from a building hit by an Israeli strike in Nuseirat in the central Gaza Strip on July 20, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. (Photo by Eyad BABA / AFP)
Smoke rises from a building hit by an Israeli strike in Nuseirat in the central Gaza Strip on July 20, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. (Photo by Eyad BABA / AFP)

The Middle East was reeling Sunday from deadly violence with Israel bombing Gaza, Lebanon and Yemen in quick succession in response to attacks from Iran-backed militant groups.
Despite Washington's top diplomat asserting a deal is near the "goal line" to end more than nine months of devastating war between Israel and Gaza rulers Hamas, the Israeli military said it intercepted a missile fired from Yemen, as it pressed on with its offensive in the besieged Palestinian territory, Agence France Presse reported.
Dozens have been killed since Saturday across the Gaza Strip, the civil defense agency said, including in strikes on homes in the central Nuseirat and Bureij areas and displaced people near southern Khan Yunis.
Residents said a major operation was underway in the district of Rafah in the south, reporting heavy artillery and clashes.
The deadly strikes in Gaza came hours after Hezbollah and its ally Hamas said they fired at Israeli positions from south Lebanon, while Yemen's Houthi group vowed to respond to Israeli warplanes hitting a key port.
The fire left raging by the strikes on Hodeida port "is seen across the Middle East and the significance is clear," Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said.
Detailing the first strikes claimed by Israel in Yemen, Gallant warned of further operations if the Houthis "dare to attack us" after a Houthi drone strike killed one in Tel Aviv on Friday.
In Hodeida three people were killed and 87 wounded, health officials said in a statement carried by Houthi media.
Netanyahu travels to Washington
The trio of militant groups has vowed to keep up attacks on Israel until a truce ends the violence in Gaza, which lies in ruins, with most residents forced to flee their homes.
The Gaza war was triggered by Hamas's October 7 attack on southern Israel, which resulted in the deaths of 1,195 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli figures.
The militants also seized 251 hostages, 116 of whom are still in Gaza, including 42 the Israeli military says are dead.
Israel's military retaliation to wipe out Hamas has killed at least 38,919 people, also mostly civilians, according to data from the health ministry in Hamas-ruled Gaza.
The war has also unleashed hunger and health crises in Gaza, with Israel and the United Nations trading blame for vital aid supplies failing to reach those in need.
After the detection of poliovirus in Gaza sewage, though no individual cases, the World Health Organization said there were "monumental" constraints to mounting a timely response.
WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier said Friday the agency believes many more diseases are "spreading out of control" inside Gaza.
The premier is due to address US lawmakers Wednesday in Washington, where he will be under pressure to reach a ceasefire with Hamas.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Friday a truce was within reach.
"I believe we're... driving toward the goal line in getting an agreement that would produce a ceasefire, get the hostages home, and put us on a better track to trying to build lasting peace and stability," he said.