A protester calls for official accountability in the massive blast in Beirut’s port last year that killed some 218 people , injured about 7000 and left 300, 000 homeless after 2,750 Tons of Ammonium Nitrate Exploded . They were stored there for nearly 7 years. , reportedly for use by the Syrian regime in its barrel bombs against the civilians in Syria. Caretaker PM Hassan Diab and president Michel Aoun were informed about the explosive chemical 2 weeks before the explosion. but neither did anything about it . Aoun said he is not responsible for the port and ExPM Diab reportedly offered to go to the port to inspect the material but Hezbollah security chief Wafic Safa reportedly told him not to go . Diab’s government , the presidency and the parliament leadership is controlled by Hezbollah since it is the only militia that was allowed by the Syrian occupiers at the end of the civil war to keep its arms (Hussein Malla / Associated Press)

Lebanese Forces party leader Samir Geagea called for a peaceful general strike if the government of PM Najib Mikati and president Michel Aoun bow to the demands of the Iranian backed Hezbollah militant group and end the investigation of the catastrophic Beirut Port explosion

WeHe warned Wednesday the government and President Aoun against “bowing to Hiezbollah’s intimidation” concerning the dismissal of Judge Tarek Bitar. the lead investigator into the port blast case,

“If they stop the investigations, they must resign immediately,” he said.

Geagea also called for a general and peaceful strike if ” Hezbollah tries to impose its will by force.”

He added sarcastically that the “inverted logic” that has been prevailing in Lebanon for years, coupled with “imposition, threats, force and red and yellow lines,” aims to falsify and reverse facts, to violate sovereignty and to silence “free voices.”

Geagea stressed that “the successive submissions to intimidation throughout the years” have brought the Lebanese people to where they are today.

“Any additional blackmail related to the port crime is a great moral blow to the judicial institution and a direct or indirect participation in the crime.”

“A partner in crime is as responsible as the direct criminal,” he added.

Hezbollah allies pressuring government

In a new development Hezbollah and its allies the Amal Movement and the Marada Movement threatened to quit the government if Judge Bitar is not fired

Beirut port blast investigator Judge Tarek Bitar must be replaced or else Hezbollah, the Amal Movement and the Marada Movement will “suspend their participation in the government,” Hezbollah and Amal sources have reportedly warned.

“Judge Bitar was appointed through a decree and he can also be recused through a decree, although the ideal solution is to resolve the matter in the Higher Judicial Council,” sources told al-Jadeed TV on Wednesday.

The sources also claimed that Bitar is “inclined to accuse Hezbollah of the port bombing crime,” stressing that “the party cannot bear the consequences of a crime that it did not commit.”

EU warns

The lead spokesperson for the external affairs of the EU, Peter Stano, warned Tuesday that the Beirut port blast investigation has to be “completed as soon as possible,” and that it should be impartial, credible and transparent.

“The investigation should be allowed to proceed without any interference in legal proceedings and those responsible for this tragedy should be held accountable,” he added.

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