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Houthis Accused of Exploiting Beirut Blast to Raise Donations for Hezbollah

Houthis Accused of Exploiting Beirut Blast to Raise Donations for Hezbollah

Saturday, 8 August, 2020 - 08:30
A general view shows the damage at the site of Tuesday's blast in Beirut's port area, Lebanon August 5, 2020. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

Yemeni activists accused Houthi militias in Sanaa of preparing to raise funds for the Lebanon-based Hezbollah against the background of the Beirut port explosion which struck the Lebanese capital and left around 100 people homeless.

On social media, Yemeni activists accused the Iran-backed Houthis of exploiting the Beirut blast to steal more funds from Yemenis and direct those funds into their war effort and financing the Lebanon-based Hezbollah. All this is taking place at a time Yemenis struggle to secure their daily meals.

Houthi leader Abdul-Malik Badreddin al-Houthi had ordered the group’s leaders to arrange for a donations campaign. Consequentially, Houthis sent out SMS texts asking people to donate to a specific bank account.

Yemeni activists slammed the behavior of the Houthi group, saying that it does not fathom the size of the disaster lying ahead for Yemenis because of the ongoing war, famine and disease. While the payroll of Yemeni public servants remains frozen, Houthis are rushing to aid Hezbollah under the presumption that it is to help the Lebanese people.

This is not the first time Houthis raise donations for the Lebanon-based Hezbollah. Last year, it raised around $132,000 through the Sam radio station after the international sanctions against Iran resumed.

Tehran’s funding of Hezbollah, since the sanctions, has been diminished significantly.

Yemeni activists say that the money gathered by the Houthi militias for Hezbollah confirms their involvement with Iran’s regional agenda.

The new Houthi campaign to collect donations for Iran angered residents of the capital, Sanaa, as many of them expressed to Asharq Al-Awsat their disdain for the group’s behavior, which is more keen on the interests of the Lebanese Hezbollah than for the benefit of Yemenis and alleviating their suffering.

“We are not surprised by the Houthi sectarian-inspired action to back its allies in the region,” a Yemeni activist in Sanaa said, adding that what is surprising is that those donation campaigns are being run while Yemenis are starving.

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