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Beirut Aug-4-2020 blast: Hezbollah use of civilians and its threats, thugs

Reader comment on item: Hezbollah and Hamas in Decline

Submitted by Omar (United States), Oct 15, 2021 at 11:08

FOLLOWING AUG-4-2020 BLAST OF CHEMICALS IN BEIRUT PORT THAT KILLED OVER 200.

AUG-OCT 2020

* Public anger unleashed.

* Exposure again of Hezbollah's eliberate stockpiling dangerous chemicals, part of it's strategy of using civilians (human shields).

* These kind of chemicals were used by Hezbollah murderers before, including in the 1984 massacre, targeting Jews in Argentina (AMIA building).

* Hezbollah's fakery and its blaming of "bias" is debunked.

* Hezbollag's chief Nasrallah threatens those who blame it.

SEP 2021

* Hezbollah threatens judge.

* Judge struggles to get witnesses to testify.

OCT 14, 2021

* Hezbollah armed fight with Christians at protest against the judge who dared to summon Hezbollah persons for investigation.

* After shoot out, Hezbollah mobilizes its masses to intimidate and to show its abd its Iranisn asks are the boss.

* Hezbollah thugs shoot indiscriminately.

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Corruption is not to blame for Beirut blast

Abdulrahman al-Rashed, August 5 ,2021

...the blast occurred because of a specific action: chemicals were brought in large quantities for the purpose of destruction -- not for agriculture or trade. More than two-thirds of the stockpile was used in Syria, and the remaining third exploded in Beirut. Hezbollah was the one to bring the chemicals as part of its combat activity in Syria and transported it there in batches.

Although the Port is theoretically under the control of the Lebanese Army, it is managed de facto by the leadership of Hezbollah. Therefore, launching accusations against the President of the Republic, the Government, or this or that official on allegations of corruption is a mere ploy to divert attention from the actual culprit. Nonetheless, this does not absolve senior government officials of their responsibility, as they are also guilty of turning a blind eye.

Who brought the explosives, and why? What was done with the bulk of the shipment before the blast? The answers to these basic questions can reveal the truth and are accessible today.

We realize that Lebanon has no say in running its own affairs, just like Iraq, Syria, and Yemen; all of which have come under Iran's control via its local proxies. However, the Lebanese people have paid dearly in their efforts to confront Iranian proxies over the past years. Dozens of Lebanese political and security leaders and intellectuals were directly targeted and killed, just as 218 innocent people lost their lives one year ago.

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As Beirut's fury grows, Hezbollah leader warns against blaming Shiite militia for devastation

By Liz Sly, Sarah Dadouch, Erin Cunningham and Louisa Loveluck, August 7, 2020

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/beirut-explosions-rescue-victims/2020/08/07/5c78297e-d819-11ea-a788-2ce86ce81129_story.html

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Why Are Fingers Pointed At Hezbollah In Beirut Explosion?

August 9, 2020
By Iliya Jazayeri, Maryam Sinaiee

Although the ammonium nitrate that caused the massive explosion in Beirut on August 4 is not directly linked to Hezbollah, some people have been holding the militant group responsible for the tragedy and pointed out the historical cases of the use of the explosive by Hezbollah.

Those who accuse the group of the involvement in the tragic explosion, raising large swaths of the Lebanese capital to the ground, allege that Hezbollah prevented the stash from being disposed of and also cite its history of stockpiling and using the material in several operations around the world in the past few decades.

The explosive chemicals that caused the blast were seized by Lebanese authorities in 2013 from a Moldovan-flagged ship en-route from Georgia to Mozambique and stored at a warehouse at Beirut Port where they stayed despite the massive risk and repeated pleas by the port authority until August 4.

[...]
"Hezbollah shouldn't be absolved of responsibility for the incident, as it hardly seems plausible that the group was unaware of the presence [https://www.aljadeed.tv/arabic/news/local/0708202021] of the deadly cargo in the port's warehouse, despite Nasrallah's public denial to the contrary," David Daoud wrote in the Atlantic Council website on August 7. [https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/menasource/ammonium-nitrate-didnt-belong-to-hezbollah-but-they-knew-about-its-dangers/]

Daoud has pointed out that the Hezbollah perhaps more than any other group in Lebanon is acutely aware of the danger that such chemicals —even if not of a military grade—pose for civilians.

He has raised the question of why Hezbollah failed to raise the issue of the explosives through its allies who headed the Transportation Ministry responsible for all Lebanese ports and the Finance Ministry which controls the Customs Authority or raise public concern about it through its vast resources.

Hezbollah's name is tied with ammonium nitrate in several historical cases the most recent of which was in May this year when Israel's Channel 12 news reported [https://www.timesofisrael.com/mossad-gave-berlin-intel-on-hezbollah-ops-on-german-soil-ahead-of-ban-report/] that Mossad had given information to Germany on Hezbollah's activities on its soil, including stashing of hundreds of kilograms of ammonium nitrate, ahead of the country banning the Lebanese terror group.

Germany officially banned both the military and political wings of Hezbollah a "Shiite terrorist organization" on April 30 when German police and special forces stormed mosques linked with the group across the country.

In June 2019 Daily Telegraph [https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/06/09/iran-linked-terrorists-caught-stockpiling-explosives-north-west/] said British intelligence acting on a tip from a foreign intelligence agency in 2015 had caught an alleged Hezbollah terrorist stockpiling more than three tons of the explosive packed in thousands of disposable ice packs in North West London but never divulged the plot.

In a similar case in May 2015 in Cyprus [https://www.timesofisrael.com/cyprus-sentences-hezbollah-operative-to-six-years-on-bomb-charges/] a Hezbollah agent was found with 8.2 tons of ammonium nitrate, also stored in ice packs, in his home.

In January 2012 a Swedish-Lebanese citizen with alleged Hezbollah [https://www.voanews.com/east-asia/swedish-lebanese-man-jailed-thailand-hiding-bomb-material] ties was arrested in Thailand with three tons of ammonium nitrate.

The explosive was also used in series of attacks blamed on Hezbollah including the 2012 attack on a bus of Israeli tourists in Bulgaria which killed five. The chemical was used in the 1994 AMIA Jewish center bombing in Buenos Aires that killed 85 as well as the 1992 bombing of the Israeli embassy in the same city that killed 29. Both events were linked to Hezbollah and Iran.
https://en.radiofarda.com/a/why-are-fingers-pointed-at-hezbollah-in-beirut-explosion-/30774252.html

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Beirut Explosion Unleashes Public Anger at Hezbollah, Lebanon's Most Powerful Group

The Iranian ally becomes a target of public resistance, particularly from a new generation

By Sune Engel Rasmussen and Nazih Osseiran, Aug. 13, 2020

... Hezbollah's leader—who wept openly for the death of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in January—didn't publicly display such emotion over the carnage caused by last week's blast, though he did lament the loss of life and large number of injuries.

"He cries on live TV when they kill an Iranian leader but he is laughing and grinning in the face of a Lebanese catastrophe," said Gino Raidy, a veteran antiestablishment blogger who has participated in the protests.

... Although no evidence has emerged that Hezbollah had a hand in keeping the 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate at the port, many Lebanese critics assume Hezbollah was aware of the stockpile since its members are so deeply entrenched in the country's security apparatus.
https://www.wsj.com/articles/beirut-explosion-unleashes-public-anger-at-hezbollah-lebanons-most-powerful-group-11597350861

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Israeli involvement in massive Beirut port blast ruled out by both sides

Aaron Boxerman, Aug 4, 2020.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/israeli-involvement-in-massive-beirut-blast-ruled-out-by-both-sides/

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Hezbollah's Fakery on Blame for Beirut Blast

Nisan Ahmado, August 16, 2021

... Nasrallah's blame shifting is misleading. In fact, there is compelling evidence that Hezbollah had control over facilities at the Beirut port where the ammonium nitrate explosive material had been stored.

Furthermore, Hezbollah and friends have been accused more than once of stockpiling and transporting explosives, including ammonium nitrate, a fertilizer that can be used to make bombs.

For the record, the United States, European Union and others regard Iran-backed Hezbollah as a terrorist group. The U.S. claims Hezbollah was involved in 1983 bomb attacks that killed hundreds of Marines and others in Lebanon. The group has been engaged in Lebanese politics since at least 1992; some dispute whether Hezbollah was behind the 1983 bombings.

Also for the record, a gigantic cache of ammonium nitrate had been stored in dilapidated warehouse No. 12 at Beirut's port since 2013. [https://www.hrw.org/report/2021/08/03/they-killed-us-inside/investigation-august-4-beirut-blast]

When it blew up on August 4, 2020, at least 218 people died; another 7,000 were injured and 300,000 were displaced. Experts said it was the third-largest non-nuclear explosion in history.

Thousands of angry Lebanese took to the streets to protest government negligence and demand answers and accountability for the tragedy. Some called for politicians to be hanged. [https://twitter.com/Daraj_media/status/1292083075204120578?s=20]

In denying blame, Hezbollah attempted to discredit investigators looking into the blast, accusing them of being politically driven and part of a U.S. and Israeli scheme. But media reports soon revealed a connection between the party and the explosives warehoused at the port.
https://www.polygraph.info/a/fact-check-hezbollah-fakery-on-blame-for-beirut-blast/31413498.html

________

Lebanon and the international community must still reckon with the fact that Hezbollah maintains its own military arsenal and foreign policy outside the government's control; embeds its forces and weapons in populated areas, thereby exposing civilians to safety hazards and turning them into human shields in the event of another war; and persists in developing precision missiles and other advanced threats that risk provoking Israel to take preventive action. Lebanese and international acquiescence to Hezbollah's embedded arsenal and cover-up mechanisms may wind up deferring an adequate response until it is too late. Thus far, UN mechanisms have failed to address these problems even in the south, where UNIFIL is obligated to help the LAF ensure that only government personnel have military weapons.

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Controversy in Lebanon .. Hezbollah threatens the judge of the Beirut explosion

By Editorial Team, September 22, 2021

A few words tweet was enough to unleash a storm in the past few hours in Lebanon. A Lebanese reporter revealed, in a tweet on his Twitter account this afternoon Tuesday that Hezbollah sent a threatening letter to Judge Tariq Al-Bitar, who is looking into the case of the bloody explosion of the Beirut port, which left 214 people dead and hundreds injured. last year (August 4, 2020), stating that "he has been uprooted from his post if he continues to hold him".
https://asumetech.com/controversy-in-lebanon-hezbollah-threatens-the-judge-of-the-beirut-explosion/

Hezbollah threatened top judge probing Beirut port blast, source says - CNN

Hezbollah threatened top judge probing Beirut port blast, source says

By Tamara Qiblawi, CNN.
Sep 23, 2021 — Judge Tarek Bitar's investigation into the port blast has rattled the political establishment in Lebanon
https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2021/09/23/middleeast/hezbollah-beirut-blast-probe-threat-intl/index.html

'We will remove you', Hezbollah official told Beirut blast judge

Reuters
Sep 29, 2021
https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/we-will-remove-you-hezbollah-official-told-beirut-blast-judge-2021-09-29/

______

Judge Bitar has been struggling to get high-profile witnesses to testify.

Beirut port explosion investigation suspended for second time

September 27, 2021

The Lebanese investigation into the devastating blast in Beirut last year has been suspended after an ex-minister wanted for questioning complained about the lead judge's impartiality.

Judicial sources said Tarek Bitar would stop the probe until a court had ruled on Nohad Machnouk's case.

Judge Bitar has been struggling to get high-profile witnesses to testify.

His predecessor was removed on similar grounds in February after he accused former ministers of negligence.

The massive explosion at Beirut's port on 4 August 2020 killed at least 218 people, wounded 7,000 others and devastated swathes of the city.
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-58705687

___^
Beirut Gunfights Leave 6 Dead After Hezbollah Protest Against Lebanon's Explosion Probe

Sectarian clashes broke out after Hezbollah supporters rallied to demand dismissal of judge leading investigation into last year's port blast

By Nazih Osseiran

Updated Oct. 14, 2021
https://www.wsj.com/articles/gunfights-rock-beirut-following-hezbollah-protest-against-blast-probe-11634213261

AmramEl (@el_amram) Tweeted:
Oct 14, 2021
Shooting between the two camps, by Hezbollah supporters, and supporters of the Lebanese judge, who is about to publish a serious report against Hezbollah, for his part in the bombing of the port of Beirut. https://t.co/R8H0BkNTws https://twitter.com/el_amram/status/1448576778520481795?s=20

Omar / عمر (@omarsyrianok5) Tweeted:
Oct 14, 2021
Members of Hezbollah do not know how to use RPG And then the dog of dahyeh tells you about the liberation of Jerusalem https://t.co/bhUFf1Ga1y https://twitter.com/omarsyrianok5/status/1448751872932782082?s=20

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Gal Aharonovich (@GalAharonovich) Tweeted:
Oct 14, 2021
After being caught unprepared, hundreds of Hezbollah militants make a pilgrimage from Shiite villages and gather for a demonstration of power at the shooting scene in Beirut. https://t.co/JHI0gM6m13 https://twitter.com/GalAharonovich/status/1448648563735466002?s=20

شبكة فلسطين للأنباء
@shfanews_net Tweeted
Urgent: Lebanon: Now, gunmen affiliated with Hezbollah are firing indiscriminately at houses in the center of Beirut. #Urgent #Lebanon #Beirut #Lebanon #Beirut .
SHFA NEWS
Oct 14, 2021 https://twitter.com/shfanews_net/status/1448731840639086594

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