RNA – The important parts of his speech, which ended moments ago, are as follows؛
I had previously said I want to speak to you on Wednesday before the disaster. I wanted to discuss several issues. I wanted to discuss the tensions between Hezbollah and Israeli enemy, Special Tribunal for Lebanon, COVID-19, Lebanon’s fuel shortage. But when the disaster happened on Tuesday, I decided to delay my talk, and I won’t talk about those issues – I’m only talking about Beirut Port Blast.
We’re confronting a huge disaster, from a humanitarian and national perspective and by all standards. More than 150 martyrs, most Lebanese, other Syrians, and other nationalities. Thousands wounded. The latest estimates 80 missing.
Tens of thousands of families left homeless; properties damaged. The terror that has entered into the hearts of millions.
These are serious and dangerous impacts. This will have health, economic impact – Beirut Port nearly totally destroyed and has to be rebuilt, with the economic implications, and this will add to Lebanon’s economic crisis. We’re facing a huge disaster.
I extend my condolences to the families of all martyrs. This explosion had a cross-sectarian and cross-region impact. Beirut is the city of all Lebanese, representing all segments of Lebanese society.
I ask God to give the families of the martyrs’ patience and succor, and to heal the wounded, and give everyone patience, and to give us the strength to bypass this phase – for all who have been impacted through harm to loved ones or property.
This requires the help of God and the cooperation of everyone.
This is an exceptional incident in Lebanon’s modern history and requires an exceptional way of dealing with this – in media, politics, judiciary, etc.
Language fails me to express my sympathy and concern for the people of Beirut.
We saw many things during this disaster, and I will address them individually.
Popular reaction was remarkable – helping the apparatuses of the state to handle this disaster.
Blood donations, for example. This was probably the first time Hezbollah asked for donations of blood.
This popular solidarity helped in the removal of rubble, search and rescue, and we’re still seeing a lot of volunteering to help.
Despite the level of crisis in Lebanon, we saw this high level of solidarity.
No one is gloating over anyone else; everyone feels impacted. We have to give high credit to such a reaction, which reveals the deep humanity of our people in all places.
For us, as Hezbollah, our entities and apparatuses were present from the first moment, including the municipalities in which we are represented. I reiterate all of Hezbollah’s resources are at the disposal of the Lebanese state and our people impacted by this.
We have a lot of experience in housing people after the 2006 War with Israel, and I ask people to take our offer seriously.
All families who have lost their housing, we are ready to help them find housing and rebuild. No family should be left in the street or feel like they are a burden on their relatives. We can help secure them with temporary housing until their homes are repaired.
The second scene is external countries and entities offering aid – countries, religious scholars, etc. showing great solidarity with Lebanon, and readiness to aid.
We’re talking about a besieged country. The Americans are besieging the entire country. I wish they would just besiege Hezbollah, but why go after the entire country?
In any case, friendly countries have offered aid and we are grateful. Most prominently, French President Emmanuel Macron visited Lebanon.
We welcome all such visits to Lebanon, particularly if they increase Lebanese unity. But, at the current stage, we want to look at the positive side of such visits, despite concerns raised by some people.
Third, I want to discuss the domestic political scene and a foreign one as well.
Often said that living people, even if there are domestic conflicts, they put them aside if a disaster such as this occurs.
They set these differences aside until they get past such a disaster, and then they can reopen their disagreements. We even see this during the war – that there’s a ceasefire if a disaster occurs
They at least give each other a few days to allow people to mend their wounds, and figure out how to deal with the fallout.
In Lebanon, by contrast, from the first hour of the explosion – when people hadn’t even figured out what happened or who caused it, etc. some local, Arab media and political factions had their story pre-determined that.
That what exploded in the warehouse I don’t know what was a Hezbollah arms cache, explosive materials, missiles. Didn’t matter, it just had to be Hezbollah.
Even when officials came out and said this was ammonium nitrate that is used for agricultural and other purposes, they insisted this was Hezbollah’s ammonium nitrate.
It didn’t matter to these people that this had been an accident – or that it may have been caused by external actors, jets, missiles, etc. – they wanted to blame Hezbollah for all of the death, destruction, and terror caused by the explosion.
This is unfair. Is this freedom of speech? I don’t know. There are those from among our people, Hezbollah’s people, who are martyrs of the Beirut Port explosion.
This is an exceptional unfairness. There hasn’t even been an explanation or investigation yet – but domestic and Arab media are all fixated on this material belonging to Hezbollah. They adopted the method of lying until they are believed.
Some say this isn’t worthy of dignifying with a response.
I want to be very clear and totally deny that we have nothing in this warehouse – no missile, ammonium nitrate, no bullet, not now, not in the past. An investigation will show this. If what was destroyed was military in nature, the investigation will show.
We know how the ammonium nitrates arrived at the warehouse, and I don’t want to spend more time dealing with this.
Others took a different approach. Even the US president Donald Trump.
talked about a bomb or attack, but even the Americans backed off on this, and the only ones now peddling this are a few media outlets here.
That’s because any media outlet valuing any bit of its integrity wouldn’t continue peddling this.
Others then took the approach that Hezbollah knows everything that goes on in Beirut Port. This is true. We don’t know anything that goes on in Beirut Port.
Some questioned whether Hezbollah knows more about Haifa port in Israel than Beirut Port. Yes, correct, because as Resistance it is our duty to know what’s going on in Haifa port, but not Beirut Port.
Point is to accuse Hezbollah in one way or another. In any case, investigations are underway to determine the facts, what led to the explosion, what was housed at the warehouse, etc.
When the truth comes out, I simply ask that people accept the findings. I ask the Lebanese people to judge these media stations, and boycott them for their lies – this is the worst punishment because they are attempting to incite civil war.
When you tell hundreds of thousands of people that this specific entity is responsible for the deaths of your loved ones and your losses, what else are they doing?
I don’t care to settle political scores right now. This isn’t the time for that. This is the time for solidarity, finding the missing, treating the wounded, returning people to their homes. The country requires compassion, and after that, we can get into political feuds.
Most important, and the last point, is investigation and accountability. We had a huge incident. The investigation must occur.
General_Aoun, and Hasan_B_Diab said from outset they want the serious investigation to punish those proven responsible.
There is total Lebanese consensus that a fair, transparent investigation must be conducted, and those found responsible must be tried fairly.
During the investigation, no one must be allowed to be covered. We shouldn’t do this in the typical Lebanese fashion of giving people passes for their sect, etc. Whoever is responsible must be tried for their actions, not based on their sect, etc.
Whoever they are – even if they are all from one sect, whatever their party, whatever their family – they must be held accountable based on their actions.
Now there’s a matter of trust. If all Lebanese people and factions trust the Lebanese Armed Forces, let LAF conduct investigation
If some Lebanese trust one security agency, and others trust another – let both agencies conduct a joint investigation. But if there’s consensus on LAF’s trustworthiness, let them investigate and reveal findings.
I want to add something. Just as this accident is exceptional, how the Lebanese state deals with this issue is fateful.
This is a national disaster par excellence. It must not be politicized or made sectarian. This is fateful – it will impact whether the Lebanese people trust the state or have hope in a state being built.
If the Lebanese authorities fail in this duty, then there is no hope in building a state. I don’t want to create despair, only to describe reality. We need to work to create this hope.
It could emerge that there were jets, and someone came and bombed. But if it turns out this was a matter of negligence, then here’s your war on corruption.
But if we can’t deal with this, then we all need to come out and tell the Lebanese people, honestly, that we’re incapable.
The truth about this disaster must be determined, without regard to the political party. Otherwise, we have an existential crisis on our hands.
There must be accountability and just punishment, so Lebanese officials can give hope to the Lebanese people that a just Lebanese state can be built.
By the grace of God, this explosive material was near the sea. Had it been more inland, the disaster would have been greater. This can’t simply be written off as an administrative error.
From the heart of the disaster, there are opportunities, though. We need to take advantage of offers of foreign aid and build upon opportunities created by this disaster.
I want to say to those who have started a battle with Hezbollah over this disaster – you won’t achieve any results.
I tell Hezbollah’s base, do not worry. These people are chasing mirages. Just as they were disappointed in the past, they will be disappointed again.
The Resistance is bigger, greater, and more noble than to be taken down by some liars, inciters, and who are trying to start a civil war. They have failed before and will fail again.
Mercy upon the dead, may the missing be found. Well-wishes to all who have been harmed. God willing, through collaboration – we will emerge from this stronger.