Beirut/ Stephanie Rady/ Anatolia
– Lebanese MP: Today’s events in Beirut are fabricated to obstruct the course of justice in the country
Analyst: “Hezbollah” will continue to object to the actions of the judicial investigator in the port explosion
– “Hezbollah” accuses the judicial investigator of “politicizing” the investigation of the case
A demonstration by the supporters of “Hezbollah” and “Amal” movement against the decisions of the judicial investigator in the Beirut port explosion, Judge Tariq Al-Bitar, turned into an armed clash with an unknown party, which led to deaths and injuries.
Prominent political forces led by “Hezbollah” accuse Al-Bitar of “politicizing” the investigation into the port explosion case.
And earlier on Thursday, a demonstration in which dozens of party loyalists and “Amal” participated, from the Tayouneh area (west of Beirut), towards the Palace of Justice in the capital, but the demonstrators came under fire from nearby buildings, and soon the movement turned into an armed clash between the two parties. .
As of 14:30 (GMT), the death toll reached 6 people, in addition to 32 wounded, including 2 in critical condition, according to the Lebanese Red Cross.
The current scene reminded the Lebanese of the scenes of the civil war that began on April 13, 1975, and continued until October 13, 1990.
The conflicting forces were represented by the various Islamic and Christian sects, in addition to the “Palestine Liberation Organization” and the Israeli army that invaded Lebanon in 1978 and 1982, as well as the Syrian army that entered the country in 1976.
The number of victims of the civil war is estimated at 150,000 dead, 300,000 wounded and disabled, and 17,000 missing, as well as the emigration of more than one million people, and material losses exceeding $100 billion.
The end of the war began in August 1989, with the then Lebanese parliamentarians in the city of Taif, western Saudi Arabia, reaching what is known as the “Taif Agreement.”
** Dangerous situation
Political analyst, Faisal Abdel-Sater, (close to Hezbollah) stresses that “what happened is a dangerous matter that political parties have previously warned of, most notably Hezbollah,” adding that “there is a preemptive intention for what happened today.”
Abdel-Sater told Anadolu Agency that “the participants in the sit-in have the right to express their rejection of Al-Bitar’s decisions, since the matter is limited to a peaceful framework.”
On Wednesday evening, calls were spread on social media platforms by Hezbollah and Amal supporters to demonstrate in order to demand the removal of Al-Bitar, knowing that no party party has issued an official statement about the move.
These calls were preceded by a speech by the Secretary-General of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, on Monday, in which he said that Al-Bitar’s work “involves political targeting and has nothing to do with justice,” adding that “Al-Bitar does not want to reach the truth” about the Beirut port explosion file.
Last August 4, a catastrophic explosion occurred in the port of Beirut, killing more than 200 people and wounding more than 6,000 others, as well as massive material damage to residential buildings and commercial establishments.
Abdel-Sater asked: “Are there parties that coordinated for this clash to take place today? Are there external elements that entered the line of the crisis in Lebanon?”
** Contrived events
In turn, MP Wahba Qatisha, a member of the “Strong Republic” bloc, considered that “the accused do not want the investigation into the explosion of the Port of Beirut to reach a conclusion, so they fabricated these events to obstruct the course of justice and the work of the judge.”
On Tuesday, Al-Bitar issued an arrest warrant against the former minister and current parliamentarian Ali Hassan Khalil (affiliated with the Amal Movement), after he was absent from an interrogation session regarding the port explosion file.
Last July, Bitar requested the lifting of the parliamentary immunity of 3 former ministers (from the current deputies) to be investigated in the case, and announced his intention to interrogate the caretaker prime minister, Hassan Diab, but a parliamentary committee demanded that the judge provide more evidence and documents before lifting the immunity from them.
The judicial investigator in the case also requested permission from the Minister of Interior to investigate the Director of Lebanese Public Security, along with 5 security and military leaders, including former army chief Jean Kahwagi.
In an interview with Anadolu Agency, Qatisha added, “Today’s problem is fabricated to obstruct the course of justice in Lebanon.”
He stated that “the accused have an interest in aggravating the situation,” explaining that “one of the accused MPs previously said that the escalation could be greater than a political one.”
And he added, “The accused party has an interest in disturbing security, in order to abolish justice in Lebanon.”
During an interview with Al-Mayadeen channel after the arrest warrant was issued against him, MP Khalil announced, “There will be a political escalation, and perhaps of another kind, if the course of this case is not corrected.”
** Street confrontation
As the political analyst, Abdel Sater, stated, “There are those who want to impose their convictions, under the heading of the independence of the judiciary.”
And he added, “What happened today drove everyone to another place, especially after the speech of the head of the Lebanese Forces Party, Samir Geagea, yesterday (Wednesday), in which he turned the political discourse into a situation of confrontation in the street.”
On Wednesday, Geagea considered, in a television interview, that “the street meets the street,” refusing to use force from any side, and said that he “stands by the law, and will not accept the dismissal of the investigating judge under pressure.”
** “Hezbollah” continues to intercept it
Hours after the start of the clashes in West Beirut, the “Hezbollah” group and the “Amal” movement issued a joint statement, calling for calm.
The statement added, “This attack by armed and organized groups aims to drag the country into a deliberate sedition, the responsibility of which bears the instigators and the parties that cover behind the blood of the victims and martyrs of the port, in order to achieve malicious political gains.”
Here, Abdel Sater believes, “the statement indicates the good intentions of the group and the movement.”
He pointed out that “Hezbollah will continue to issue its objection to Al-Bitar’s actions, especially as there is work to find legal and judicial solutions to put an end to what is happening.”
The end of today’s events is still ambiguous, according to what analysts agree, in light of calls for calm from various sides, amid fears of a repeat of the civil war scenario in Lebanon.
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