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Ashura 2020

 

Sayyed Nasrallah’s Full Speech on Latest Developments on August 7, 2020

Sayyed Nasrallah’s Full Speech on Latest Developments on August 7, 2020
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Translated by Staff

Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah's speech regarding the latest developments on 07-08-2020:

I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan. In the name of Allah the Most Gracious the Merciful. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, and prayers and peace be upon our Master and Prophet, the Seal of Prophets, Abi al-Qassem Muhammad Bin Abdullah and his good and pure household and his good and chosen companions and all the prophets and messengers.

Peace and Allah's mercy and blessings be upon you all. 

Prior to this terrible event, I had announced a speech for Wednesday (August 5), and I intended to speak about several issues which were the hottest news at the time, namely:

-    the situation along the border between Lebanon and occupied Palestine and the ongoing clash between the resistance and the “Israeli” enemy;
-    the Special Tribunal for Lebanon on August 7;
-    the coronavirus, its recent developments, and the increase of cases in Lebanon; 
-    oil shortages and the gasoline crisis in the country;
-    other matters related to the regional issues.

But when the tragic incident took place on Tuesday (August 4), of course, I decided to postpone my speech. Today, I will not speak about these topics, but rather I will talk about only one point: the grave catastrophe and the human tragedy that befell Lebanon and the Lebanese people in recent days.

We come to the incident:

Regarding the event itself, first of all, we are faced with a colossal incident, a great tragedy, be it from a humanitarian or national perspective, or by any (other) criteria. There are more than 150 martyrs, the overwhelming majority being Lebanese. There is a remarkably large number of Syrian martyrs. There are martyrs of various nationalities. 

There are thousands of wounded. So far, the last estimates speak of nearly 80 missing persons. Let's say dozens of missing people, to be on the safe side. Tens of thousands of families left their homes because they were damaged by the explosion. Tens of thousands have been affected or lost their property, possessions, their source of livelihood, and businesses. 

Millions of people, and not hundreds of thousands, were in a state of terror and intense fear – because the residents of Beirut and the suburbs make up almost half of the population of Lebanon, if not more.

The buildings were shaken to the point that people believed there was a huge earthquake, and each neighborhood felt like the explosion was happening in its own neighborhood. What people have experienced in terms of fear and worry, be it men, women, or children is unspeakable.

Of course, these are very grave and dangerous repercussions. This incident has great humanitarian, social, health, and economic consequences and repercussions.

Practically, Beirut port was almost completely destroyed. Rebuilding the port has affects. The repercussions will only add more to the economic, financial, and living crisis in the country. In short, at all levels, we are facing a major cataclysm.

I extend my sympathies and condolences to all the families of the martyrs. 

You know that Lebanon, in general, is divided along sectarian and territorial lines, and one area rather than the other can be affected. It is noteworthy, however, that this explosion crossed sectarian and regional lines – there are martyrs and wounded from all sects. All areas and neighborhoods have been affected. Beirut is a city for all the Lebanese and embraces all the Lebanese. The inhabitants of Beirut are a microcosm of all Lebanese people, in their different regional, religious, and sectarian affiliations. This tragedy made no distinction.

I therefore extend my sincere condolences to all the families of the martyrs. I ask God Almighty to inspire their families with patience, perseverance, and endurance for the loss of their loved ones and dear ones. I also ask God Almighty to grant the wounded and injured a speedy recovery. I ask God Almighty to give everyone patience and the ability to overcome and endure (this tragedy). May He give the people who lost loved ones, their homes, livelihood, and possessions and those who have been displaced the determination and patience to overcome this ordeal.

Of course, this requires the grace of God Almighty as well as everyone's cooperation, effort, and sacrifice.

By this brief description, I wanted to indicate that we are facing an exceptional event, at least in Lebanon’s modern history, which requires exceptional treatment at all levels – moral, psychological, practical, on the ground, in the media, political, and judicial. All measures must be great and exceptional due to the exceptional nature and gravity of this incident.

Of course, there are no words to express the feelings of sympathy, pain, and sorrow to our people and loved ones in Beirut, its suburbs, and its neighborhoods. We should also show our solidarity and stand beside each other and shoulder the responsibility.

Likewise, in the face of this event and its consequences, and I will now turn to the other points. There were many scenes in Lebanon. I want to talk about each scene, comment on it, and take a stance.

First: The popular scene alongside the state

Since the first hours of the incident, it was natural that concerned state departments, the security, military, and health authorities, the civil defense, and the fire department all descended on the site. But what was remarkable was the popular atmosphere and the eagerness of people from all areas to help. Many civil and popular bodies and institutions, be it the firefighters, first responders, or health societies, descended rapidly to help the state agencies because this matter was exceeded the state's capabilities as well as that of the hospitals, doctors, nurses, blood donations …

It is perhaps the first time that Hezbollah officially appealed for blood donations. Thank God all the required blood was secured, even though the number of injured was huge from the start.

In any case, this atmosphere of compassion & popular responsiveness has also continued in the clearing of debris, as well as cleaning of homes, streets, and squares. We can still see many volunteers in these squares. 

Many municipalities, municipal unions, religious institutions, political parties, and families also announced their willingness to secure housing – temporarily or permanently – for those who have lost their homes – via what is called the relocation project (for disaster victims). 

Despite all the financial and social crises that the country is going through, we have seen such a level of compassion and solidarity. Of course, we also have to consider the psychological and emotional aspect that has reached a high level of excellence – there was sorrow and pain, but there was also eagerness to help and sympathy. People did not gloat or considered that they were not concerned with the incident. This is how the people’s emotion were. 

We must also praise the civility, humanity, ethics, and patriotism that people displayed. This is evidence that our people from all sects and areas have conscience and ethics, believe in a decent life, and are educated, humane, and patriotic.

Of course, Hezbollah’s institutions, bodies, people, municipalities, and the federation of municipalities that represent us were present from the very beginning. I believe that they have not fallen short and are always ready. 

Today, I confirm once again that Hezbollah’s institutions, capabilities, personnel, as well as human and material capabilities are at the disposal of the Lebanese state, the Lebanese government, and the relevant ministries as well as all our people who have been affected by this tragedy.

Of course, I would like to emphasize on the relocation project since we have extensive experience with this from the July 2006 war. I hope the people take this seriously.

I repeat and confirm what the President of the Federation of Dahiyeh Janoubiat Municipalities and several municipalities in Lebanon have declared: We are open and ready to help and provide temporary alternative housing to the families that have lost their homes or need time to renovate or equip their homes through this project, God willing. 

No family should remain on the street or feel that it is a burden on their relatives – if they sought refuge with their relatives or friends. Alternative and temporary housing can be provided for them until they can, God willing, return to their homes as soon as restorations and repairs are completed.

Second: The foreign scene, i.e. the position of other countries

We saw great sympathy towards Lebanon and the Lebanese people at the global level from many countries and governments in the world, major religious authorities in the world – Muslims and Christians, Shiite and Sunni – political forces, resistance movements, leaders, scholars, the media, and the elites. Many countries also announced their readiness to provide assistance while we are under siege.

You know Lebanon is a besieged country. The Americans clearly stated that they were not besieging a group or a party as some are trying to portray. I wish they’d besiege a party or group. This is what we have been asking for from the start – if you have a problem with us, besiege us. Why do you besiege the whole country and punish it and its people?

In any case, we thank the countries that sent us aid. These are friendly, brotherly, Arab and Islamic countries, as well as other members of the international community. There are people who announced that they want to help. God willing, they keep their word and send us aid.

Likewise, some delegations also came to Lebanon – ministers and delegation from several countries. But the most prominent was the visit of the French President to Lebanon.

We look positively at every form of help and (show of) empathy – and every visit to Lebanon – during these days, especially if it comes within the context of helping Lebanon or is aimed at calling for unity, cooperation, and dialogue between the Lebanese. When we view such visits, we wish to focus on the positive aspect. Now, perhaps some may call for caution or express concerns or fears. We prefer to view such visits during this current stage in terms of their positive aspects.

Thus, the international and foreign scene was positive in general and empathetic, and I believe that this also opens up an opportunity before Lebanon, both at the state level and in relation to its people. Perhaps there is an opportunity – and I will get back to this later – for Lebanon to receive support or open a way out in the face of the state of siege and the difficulties that Lebanon was going through recently.

The first and second scenes are both positive. But the third scene which I want to evoke is the internal Lebanese political scene and certain external elements. 

Third: The external and internal Lebanese political scenes 

When a major national catastrophe or a tragic incident occurs, it is said that educated, well-mannered, responsible and patriotic people freeze their conflicts, disputes, and personal accounts. They rise above all these considerations and approach the incident humanely and morally. They help each other in order to overcome the calamity, disaster, or tragedy. Once the crisis is over, things can resume their usual course.

Things are like this in general all over the world. Sometimes in the midst of a war, when an incident such as a grave massacre occurs, a ceasefire is called, even in the midst of war! There are many examples, but I will not mention them now. 

But outside of war, within the same country, where there is a government, an opposition, rival political forces, when a catastrophe befalls everyone, all regions, all families – what happened was not a tragedy that only affected certain categories of the population, no. In general, in such situations, differences are temporarily put aside, and everyone helps, cooperates, and adopts more dignified language, with different sentiments, and different statements and political speeches. Likewise, the media behaves differently, with humanity and ethics, each granting a respite to their adversaries, even if it was only for a few days, at least a few days of truce! I’m not talking about months or years, no, a few days, one or two weeks! To give people time to recover the remains of their martyrs, to heal their wounds, to visit the wounded, to assert the fate of the missing people, to put out the fires, to clear the debris, to find a way to relocate the displaced, etc. After that, you can reopen the accounts and rekindle the rivalries, no problem.

But unfortunately, what happened in Lebanon is that from the beginning of this tragedy and this cataclysm, and even from the first hour, not the first hours, when no one yet knew what was going on or had happened … In the first moments, people spoke of an earthquake, and it was only later that it was established that it was an explosion. 

What type of explosion wasit? Where in the port did it take place? What did it target? What was in the hangar that exploded? What is the nature of the material? How did the explosion happen? Was it an accident or an intentional act? 

Even before anyone knew the answer to these questions, some Lebanese and Arab media, as well as some political forces expressed through their official accounts on social media, and even through some public statements by their officials. It is not like they were hiding behind social media. No, they went live on television and in the media as soon as the explosion was known to the public, while the fires in the port were not yet extinguished and the Lebanese and the whole world were shocked. 

These people spoke out in the media and announced their position before they knew anything. Their position was decided in advance: the cause of the explosion in hangar number so-and-so at the port of Beirut was a Hezbollah missile warehouse that exploded and caused this unprecedented terror and cataclysm. Or they said it was stockpiles of Hezbollah ammunition, explosives, or weapons. The bottom line is that it must have belonged to Hezbollah, whether it was missiles, ammunition, explosives … And then, even when the official authorities announced that it was not missiles, weapons, ammunition, explosives, or anything like that, but (ammonium) nitrate used as a fertilizer or an explosive, these people said that this nitrate belonged to Hezbollah, that it was Hezbollah that brought it, that it was Hezbollah that stored it for six years. 

Without even knowing whether this explosion was an accident – caused by an accidental fire - or intentional – whether someone caused the explosion or as some have claimed, an air attack or a missile strike, these people were not interested if it was an accident or an intentional act. The important thing was to affirm that this hangar belonged to Hezbollah. 

Why? So that they could tell the Lebanese people, the residents of Beirut, the residents of the suburbs of Beirut, and to all the Lebanese that the one who destroyed your houses, killed your children and your relatives, destroyed your port, your livelihood, and your property, injured thousands of you and terrorized you, was Hezbollah. Hezbollah is the one responsible for everything.

Of course, this is a huge injustice done to us, a crime, and I don’t know if this can be seen as falling within the scope of free speech, freedom of the press. These questions need to be debated. At the moment… Let me talk a little about our feelings. We are among those killed and injured. We have people who belong to our party and organization that were martyred. We have supporters who were martyred and injured. All these people had jobs; they were workers; they had cars; they were first responders; etc.

Likewise, our feelings extend to all of our people, not just those who support Hezbollah. We are sincerely affected and very moved by what happened. While in the throes of tragedy, we endured on top of that the suffering of oppression. Some have told me that it is not worth talking about. No. I have to talk about it, for sure! For the degree of oppression is exceptional; just as the event is exceptional, the oppression inflicted on us is unprecedented. Even before an investigation was launched, before anyone knew what happened, some media, some Lebanese and Arabic TV channels, since the beginning of the incident and until now haven’t changed their tune — the hangar belonged to Hezbollah, the missiles were Hezbollah’s, Hezbollah’s explosives, Hezbollah’s nitrate, Hezbollah, Hezbollah, Hezbollah, Hezbollah,etc.

We heard nothing else from them because there is no other (hypothesis) for them. It is a great crime committed against us. And their method has been to lie, lie, lie, and lie again, until the people believe you. And it seems that some people, because of the pangs of tragedy and disaster as well as the media hype, might have been influenced, although in general we rely on people’s awareness and lucidity and their knowledge that these sources have no credibility. They have a long history of telling lies, deception, inventions, falsifications, and twisting reality.

Despite the fact that, as some of us have said, these accusations do not deserve an answer, if there is anyone that can be affected by these allegations, perhaps some will say that Hezbollah has not made any statement, denial, or comments, and out of respect for reasonable people and the public opinion, I would like to stress and confirm today: I firmly, categorically, and definitely deny that Hezbollah has absolutely nothing in the port. 

There was neither a weapons stockpile, nor a missile stockpile, nor a (single) missile, nor a rifle, nor a bomb, nor a bullet, nor (any amounts of ammonium) nitrate. There is nothing of this sort at all, neither a warehouse nor anything else. Neither is there anything now, nor was there anything in the past. Absolutely nothing of this sort at all. And in any case, the results of the investigation will soon confirm (this reality) because such things cannot be hidden. If the blast in the port was due to missiles, ammunition, weapons, or anything military, the investigation will reveal it. As for the nitrate, we already know where it came from, who brought it into the country, how many years it was stored there, etc. All of this will be established and confirmed by the investigation. I don’t need more than this brief denial because all I care about is that no one would give credit to these lies and fabrications and to denounce this enormous oppression inflicted on Hezbollah and the resistance in Lebanon.

Of course, some people opted for another wave (of slanderous accusations) when they saw that the majority of the local media, commentary, and data (favored another direction)… Even Trump, for example, in the White House, went the flow at first, talking about a possible bomb, or whatever, but the United States backed down. 

Yesterday and today, I have seen that the majority of the international media and journalists have abandoned the hypothesis (of a stockpile of Hezbollah weapons), except for a few channels in Lebanon and the Arab world. Thus, those who launched this wave are now all alone because all the media and all the voices in the world are keen on its credibility, even if they are our enemies engaged in a political war against us; but when it turns out that it was lie was as clear as glass, they backed down to conjure up other possibilities.

Other people went on to say that Hezbollah should be held accountable because it controls the port of Beirut, runs it, and supervises it. Nothing can happen in the port without it knowing it, seeing it, and giving its consent, etc. These are also lies, deception, forgery and great injustice against us.

We don’t run the port; we don’t control it; we don’t oversee it; we don’t interfere in its management or affairs; and we had no idea what was going on in the port and what was in the port. 

Some said, ‘Is it possible that you know about the port of Haifa more than you know about the Port of Beirut?’ That is true! Hezbollah’s primary responsibility is resistance, and it is normal that Hezbollah perhaps knows more about what goes on at the Haifa port than what happens in the Beirut port. The port of Beirut is not Hezbollah’s responsibility, yet the port of Haifa is its responsibility because it is part of the deterrence equation and the defense strategy of Lebanon.

But Hezbollah does not administer, control, interfere, or know anything about what is going on in Beirut port, what is and is not there, and how things are managed. This is something we do not interfere in at all.

But anyway, we will continue to hear this wave of accusations and allegations because if the hangar does not belong to Hezbollah, we must find something else to blame Hezbollah for the tragedy. Because as far as these oppressors are concerned, the important thing is to place one responsibility or another on Hezbollah, and to look for a pretext, an allegation, a lie, a forgery. I’ll say no more on this issue.

Either way, investigations are ongoing, and the truth will emerge quickly, as the matter is not complicated. I believe that the criminal, security, military, and technical investigation will be able to quickly establish what was in the hangar, what was the nature of the explosives, and how it was triggered because at the technical level, this does not require much time, and the truth can be expected to come to light quickly, God willing.

When the truth is revealed, I hope that the Lebanese people in all Lebanese territories – because in our country there is a problem in terms of punishments and responsibilities, and in the name of freedom of opinion and expression, some accuse, insult, abuse, oppress and lead the country to the brink of civil war, and ultimately, the Criminal Court imposes on them a fine of 10 to 50 million Lebanese pounds.

What I want to ask the Lebanese people is that they should themselves judge these media outlets and condemn them. In what way? By evaluating them, to give them the least credit, the least importance, and by ceasing to watch them. When we know that such media outlets have no credibility, are based on lies, manipulation, and falsification, and participate in the battle that targets our country, we must condemn them and turn our backs on them for good. And it is in my opinion the most important punishment that can befall these deceitful and lying television stations which push to the civil war. What does this mean? This is not a simple political accusation. When somebody tells hundreds of thousands of people that this certain party is responsible for this carnage, all these deaths and injuries, all this destruction and all this displacement, where are they taking the country to?

This is still related to the political scene. On the other hand, we saw the political instrumentalisation of the incident. Anyone who had a problem with someone else exploited this tragedy – those who had a problem with the President, the government, any political party, and of course us.

Today, I do not want to get into an argument with anyone, and we are putting it off for later because we insist on avoiding settling political or personal disputes, out of ethical, humanitarian, and national considerations. This is the time for solidarity, compassion, mutual aid, letting wounds heal, clearing debris, determining the fate of the missing people, treating the wounded, and helping people return home, which is a vital priority. 

The country needs this kind of attitude and calm for several days in order to overcome the ordeal. Then we can talk politics and settle scores. Our position will be firm. And as for people with certain analyses that compare the current situation with previous experiences or pin hopes like so many of their past illusions, remember that for a long time, some chased after mirages, only to realize that they were all mirages. I will talk about that later.

At this point, I don’t want to get into these considerations, and I don’t want to  argue with anyone. I’ll put it off until later. The priority is compassion, solidarity, and cooperation to overcome the pain and suffering and the tragedy during these days. Let’s put things back on track and get back to political wrangling later.

The last point, which is the most important point, is investigation and retribution. 

A huge, terrible, and dangerous incident took place. First, there must be an investigation that must take its course. His Excellency the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister declared from the outset that there will be an impartial, resolute, firm, definitive and strong investigation, and that whoever will be identified as being responsibile for this incident, by his actions or by negligence, corruption, or insufficiency, will be held to account, whoever he is.

Great, it’s a good start. The Lebanese are now asking for action and effort. I consider that faced with the shock of the event, there is national, popular, and governmental consensus, of all political parties and all deputies, etc., demanding that an exhaustive, frank, transparent, precise, fair and impartial investigation be carried out on this incident, and that whoever bears any share of responsibility be judged and condemned in the most severe and exemplary manner —a fair punishment, of course.

We are also among the voices that demand this, loud and clear. We must not allow anyone to be covered or protected during the investigation and the truth to be withheld. The investigation, and later the trial, should not be done in the “Lebanese fashion” where one takes into account religious and sectarian calculations and balances. 

Anyone who was inadequate or negligent, instigated (this event), or involved in corruption has no religion or sect, as is the case with collaborators. They should be judged on the basis of what they have done, not on the basis of their sectarian, religious, or political affiliation. Neither the investigation nor the trial should be conducted on a sectarian basis (requiring a precise ratio of Sunnis, Shiites, or Christians). Whoever is in charge, whether they belong to several sects or are all from the same sect, whatever their political affiliation and group, whatever their family clan, truth and justice must prevail over the position, the investigation, and the punishment.

Likewise, with regard to the investigation, one hears calls, opinions, and thoughts. I want to address certain political forces who are talking about the investigation. The official security apparatuses are quite capable of carrying out this investigation: they have the technical capacity and the required expertise, that is certain. But you have doubts about their reliability. I ask you a question: because sometimes in politics the thread of lies is short. All the political forces in Lebanon affirm their confidence in the Lebanese army, the national institution (par excellence), the guarantor of stability and security in the country, and the guarantor of sovereignty. We have heard poetry and long statements praising the army during Army Day. Very well. So let the Lebanese army take care of the investigation! I believe that the services of the Lebanese army have already been requested, the military police it seems to me. If the Lebanese army is an institution that enjoys the confidence of all Lebanese people, all Lebanese political forces, and all Lebanese leaders, let us entrust it with the task of carrying out the investigation since you say you trust it. At the very least let the army conduct the investigation since you trust it. Let it investigate and reveal the findings, so that everyone can see them.

There is yet another choice. Maybe some Lebanese have confidence in one body but not in another. It’s possible. So let’s form a joint investigative committee, where each security body which you trust will be present, even if in my opinion charging the army is sufficient, independently of the other bodies which can have the trust of some but not of others. Everyone says there is unanimity regarding the army, so let the army investigate. Let the army conduct the investigation, and let it announce its findings to all people, not just the courts, at its own peril. Let it declare that we, the Lebanese army, with our expertise, our capacities, and our means carried out an impartial and transparent investigation, and these are our findings, O Lebanese people, concerning the explosion which took place in Beirut port. This will suffice to bring the truth for all to see.

In this regard, I would also like to add something very important. Just as the incident is exceptional, today the attitude of the Lebanese State towards this event will be in our eyes decisive and fateful. This will determine the future of Lebanon. In what way? Today it is not about the president of the Republic or the government. It is about the Lebanese State. It is about the manner in which the authorities will address the incident, be it the judicial body, the army, the security services, and even the Parliament – in short, the state and its institutions.

Everyone has some responsibility toward the trial and the punishment later. The manner in which such a catastrophe that affected all sects, all neighborhoods, and all regions is addressed must not be politicized or tinged with sectarianism. It is a national and humanitarian tragedy par excellence. The manner in which state institutions will address it, as well as political leaders and the various political forces in the country, will have a fateful consequence for the whole country. What will this fateful consequence be? 

The Lebanese people will be able, in light of how this event is addressed, to come to a conclusion – I am one of those people, as a Lebanese, who will be able to come to a conclusion on the following matter: is there a state in Lebanon or not? The second question: is there any hope for building a state or not? Because I tell you frankly: regarding this file and cause, if the Lebanese State and the Lebanese political forces —whether in power or in the opposition— fail to reach a result regarding the investigation and prosecuting all those responsible, it means that the Lebanese people, political forces, state institutions (are bankrupt), and thus there is no hope for building state. I don’t want anybody to despair, but I am advising.

But we must all work so that this despair does not happen, in order to create and sow hope among the Lebanese. Today, all the calls to fight against corruption that used to reach dead ends in the form of say, a corrupt judge here, or a cowardly judge there, or say a side that tries to close a particular investigation and clear up the evidence, or due to say certain considerations, okay, what (obstacle or dead end) will face this matter?

It may be revealed in this matter that – and yes, a part of it is definitely (related to internal negligence) – meaning that even if it turns out that say, a plane came and struck the port or even if it was a pre-planned operation. However, if it turns out that this nitrate had been sitting at the port for six or seven years, that would mean that definitely part of the issue is related to negligence, inadequacy, and corruption. Okay let everyone come forward and fight corruption (here in this issue, which is the most pressing of issues). This is where the war on corruption must be a priority.

If in this case all those who are calling for a war on corruption, and we are part of them, if we are unable to do anything, then it means there is no possibility for us to achieve anything in this regard. We then ought be honest with the Lebanese people and tell them: there is no possibility for us to do anything, neither to fight corruption, nor confront negligence and the shortcomings, and O Lebanese people, you should know that you do not have a state, and there is no possibility of establishing a state, so you should go sort yourself out.

In my opinion, the situation is this grave. So that no one later says that this is a tragedy, and time will heal and make people forget. As far as we are concerned, this incident cannot possibly be forgotten, nor is it allowed for anyone to ignore it. The whole truth must be revealed in this tragedy, and those responsible must be prosecuted without any political, sectarian, or partisan protection. If that doesn’t happen, yes, I will consider that there is a crisis of the regime, a crisis of the state, maybe even a crisis of the (Lebanese) entity, some might take it this far. And some people might try express it in one way or another.

Therefore, I call on state officials, at all levels and in all authorities, to show the utmost seriousness and determination, whether to complete the investigation or to prosecute and hold accountable all those responsible for this tragedy. This is required so that the leaders and the political forces can give hope to the Lebanese people that there is a government, a state, and state institutions, or at least that there is hope that a state can be built on the basis of truth, justice, transparency, and the protection of the Lebanese; because sometimes the consequences of corruption, negligence, and incompetence accumulate and become apparent after several years, and can be destructive, like what happened in this terrible event where in seconds, in a matter of seconds, there were tens of martyrs and missing people, thousands were injured, hundreds of thousands of families were affected and displaced from their homes.

And some people say that God Almighty prevented an even greater tragedy –  had the hangar not been so close to the sea or without such and such peculiarities at the site, had this same amount of nitrate exploded in a different geographic configuration, perhaps the whole city would have been destroyed. All this took place in an instant, in a matter of seconds as a result of corruption, negligence, and incompetence. No one should later blame it on administrative negligence. What does administrative negligence mean? We are talking about stockpiles that could have completely destroyed the capital and some suburbs. It cannot be blamed on administrative negligence.

In conclusion — because I don’t intend to take up much of your time — I would like to finish with two points.

The first point, we must not forget that in these days of tragedy, humanitarian catastrophe, and sacrifice — because even today there have been sacrifices, martyrs, wounded, displaced persons, means of subsistence destroyed, an enormous weight added on the the Lebanese economy and the Lebanese State — from the abyss of crises, relief as well as internal, regional, or international opportunities arise. The international attitude towards this event is an opportunity that the Lebanese must seize and take advantage of, both the state and the people. They must not lose these due to their differences. We must seek out the opportunities that have been created by these crises and take advantage of them in a united manner and through cooperation.

And the second and last point in the conclusion is to all those who, from the first moment, launched a campaign of attacks against us, against the resistance, and against the axis of resistance, you will get achieve anything. I tell you this frankly and sincerely. I also tell to the the supporters of the resistance and some of whom are perhaps worried, scared, and wondering what the underlying atmosphere is – whether it is a big regional or international plot.

The regional situation is very different from what it was before, as is the international situation. We are very different from what we were, and so is the resistance. So, there is really nothing to worry about. These people are running after mirages, as they have always done. All of their choices have always been doomed to failure and defeat.

And I tell them: just as you have been disappointed and defeated (in all your past undertakings, you will once again be disappointed and defeated. You will not achieve anything. This resistance, with its credibility and sincerity, with the confidence of the Lebanese people in it, its battles, its positions, its attitude and behavior, its strength, and its place in the country and in the region, is too great and too strong for it to be tainted by the slanders of certain oppressors, liars, and falsifiers of the truth, those who incite sectarian rivalry and strive for a civil war. They have always worked at this and have always failed, and they will fail again.

May God have mercy on the martyrs and a speedy recovery for the wounded, and I hope that by His Grace, the missing will be found alive; even if they are hurt God will heal them. May God grant patience and endurance to the families of the victims, as well as patience, relief, and determination to all the families who have been affected and have suffered from this tragedy, be they our families in Beirut or in the suburbs of Beirut. God willing, through the people’s cooperation and solidarity, the endurance of the state and its various institutions, as well as the efforts of the political forces and all segments of the Lebanese people, we will succeed in overcoming this ordeal and build a better tomorrow. We will come out of it stronger, more resolute, and victorious.

May peace and Allah’s mercy and blessings be upon you.

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