In the wake of the Beirut Explosion – Nasrallah speech


On August 7, Nasrallah spoke in the wake of the explosion in Beirut. The speech was characterized by two main narratives regarding Hezbollah’s involvement: denial and feigned innocence.

Nasrallah made a sweeping denial that Hezbollah was holding weapons in the port of Beirut. According to Nasrallah, the accusations against Hezbollah are a great injustice and tarnish its name with false accusations “We do not have a rifle or a bullet there “…

In addition, Nasrallah completely dismissed the claim that Hezbollah is in charge of the port of Beirut. Nasrallah expressed some cynicism and noted that “Hezbollah knows the port of Haifa well (hints at Hezbollah’s plans to attack it during the next big confrontation with Israel) but Hezbollah does not need to know the port of Beirut…”

Nasrallah’s declarations do not, of course, stand the test of reality. Beirut is by nature a hub for the import (and export) of equipment and goods (including munitions) by Hezbollah. Hezbollah equipment and weapons are stored inside a closed compound in the port. Ashraf Rifi, former General Director of the Lebanese Internal Security Forces, stated on August 7th that Hezbollah has a permanent presence in the port, including a closed compound inside it. Hezbollah’s equipment and weapons are stored in this compound. Rifi, by virtue of his position in the past, probably knows what he’s talking about…

Later in the speech, Nasrallah notes that Hezbollah people were killed and injured in the explosion. The question is whether Hezbollah has nothing to do with the port of Beirut, so what did its people do there at the time of the explosion? Did Nasrallah’s desire to show that Hezbollah was also harmed by a desire to strengthen the narrative of unity and solidarity made him say things he did not intend to say and contradict his words at the beginning of the speech that Hezbollah has nothing in port?

Nasrallah brings two more interesting points which in our opinion imply the following. The first is that it is not clear whether it is an accident or an organized event. The second is that this is an opportunity to end the blockade in Lebanon…

The first point opens the option to blame Israel and / or another factor in the future after the “findings of the investigation”. According to Nasrallah the investigation should be held internally by the Lebanese army and not an international inquiry.

The second point in fact implies the use of the opportunity to transfer equipment and weapons to Lebanon that will be made as part of the transfer of humanitarian aid by the Iranians.

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Picture of Tal Beeri

Tal Beeri

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