Hezbollah, Amal blinked first, they will now return to the cabinet

Flags of the so called Shiite duo of Hezbollah ( R) and Amal Movement
Speaker Nabih Berri L , head of the Amal Movement is an ally of Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah (R) . Both parties are backed by Iran

After 4 months of disrupting the Lebanese cabinet of PM Najib Mikati by preventing it from holding any meeting until their demands are met, the so called Shiite Duo of the Iranian backed -Hezbollah militant group and its ally the Amal Movement blinked first and pledged that their ministers will now return to the cabinet to allow it to hold its meetings .

This comes after Mikati refused to hold any meeting until all the ministers attend stressing that it is necessary to hold a Cabinet session to approve the state budget amid Lebanon’s negotiations with the International Monetary Fund.

The cabinet has not convened since October 14, when a stormy session was held in which the two parties demanded the removal of Beirut port blast investigator Judge Tarek Bitar over alleged bias. 

The 2 parties have not given up on their demand , which they will continue to pursue :

“The Amal Movement and Hezbollah stress that they will continue to work for the rectification of the judicial course,” the two parties said in a joint statement on Saturday.

Their return is only temporary

“Responding to the needs of honorable citizens and heeding the calls of the economic, professional and syndical sectors, and to prevent being accused of obstruction while we are the most keen on Lebanon and its people and social security, we announce our approval to attend the Cabinet sessions dedicated to passing the state budget and discussing the economic recovery plan and everything related to improving the living situations of the Lebanese,” Hezbollah and Amal added.

The corrupt and incompetent Lebanese authorities have deliberately plunged the country into one of the worst economic crises in modern times, demonstrating a callous disregard for the rights of the population, Human Rights Watch said Thursday in its World Report 2022.  

The impact of the economic crisis on residents’ rights has been catastrophic and unprecedented. Almost 80 percent of Lebanon’s population now lives under the poverty line, with 36 percent in extreme poverty – up from 8 percent in 2019. Yet, Lebanese authorities have stubbornly refused to carry out any reforms to mitigate the impact of the crisis, and they have repeatedly delayed promised social protection plans.

Judge Tarek Bitar was appointed lead investigator into the Beirut Port blast ( background ) after the removal of his predecessor Judge Fadi Sawwan in February. The background of Bitar’s picture shows the huge silos of Beirut Port that exploded on Aug 4 , 2020. killing at least 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. Former PM Hassan Diab and president Michel Aoun were informed about the explosive chemical 2 weeks before the explosion. but neither did anything about it . Hezbollah and its allies have been for months trying to get him fired from his position like they did to his predecessor . Hezbollah is reportedly concerned over being exposed for its role in acquiring, storing and using of the ammonium nitrate that exploded at the port AP Photo/Hussein Malla, File)

“The clear indifference of Lebanese policymakers to the suffering of the population amid one of the worst economic crises in modern times borders on the criminal,” said Aya Majzoub, Lebanon researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The international community should use every tool at its disposal to pressure Lebanese policymakers to put in place the reforms necessary to pull Lebanon out of this crisis, including by imposing sanctions against leaders responsible for the ongoing grave human rights violations.”