Collateral Damage

Last Tuesday in Beirut a massive explosion occurred at a port warehouse, causing a blast that was felt as far away as Cyprus.

What caused the blast? Hezbollah, shortly after the blast said that they didn’t cause it. Rather, they asserted that it was caused by over 2,000 tons of ammonium nitrate. However, other experts question this and believe that carelessly stored ammunition, fuel, and weapons led to the massive explosion. “The explosion also altered both the city’s skyline and shoreline.”

What were the casualties from the blast? Latest statistics show 158 dead with 6,000 wounded, plus about 200 additional missing persons. Adding additional stress to the treatment of the victims is the impact of the coronavirus, which is already taxing the health care system.

How has the Lebanese Government Responded? On Saturday, Prime Minister Hassan Diab gave a brief speech suggesting early elections. Protesting citizens have called for thorough private, international investigations. Michelle, a young woman in her 20’s, said, “The resignation of the ministers is not enough. Those responsible must be held accountable,” saying this while holding a picture of her friend killed in the blast. Prime Minister Diab has dissolved his entire cabinet, taking the names of his ministers to the presidential palace “to submit the cabinet’s group resignation.”

Israel’s Response: Israel has offered aid and assistance in both treating the wounded and searching for survivors. In Tel Aviv the City Hall lit up the building with the Lebanese flag. Prime Minister Netanyahu has also offered condolences to the Lebanese people in addition to offering aid.

The primary impact of the explosion is evident, physical damage as seen by the ruin and rubble of lost, destroyed buildings and the devastating loss of life.

But the collateral damage to the Lebanese citizens due to corrupt government officials and the stranglehold of the Iranian proxy Hezbollah, add great insult to their injury.

As Solomon said in Proverbs 29:2, “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; But when a wicked man rules, the people groan.” Pray for the people of Lebanon as they recover and rebuild from this horrific event in their country.

(Source: The Times of Israel)