(CTN NEWS) – Thousands of people gathered in Beirut’s southern suburb of Dahieh, which is under Hezbollah’s control, on Wednesday.
They responded to the group’s call for a “day of rage” following the hospital blast in Gaza the previous evening.
While U.S. President Joe Biden showed solidarity with Israel during his visit, the crowds in Dahieh chanted slogans like “We obey you, oh Nasrallah” and “Death to America and Israel.”
Many waved Hezbollah and Palestinian flags and carried images of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.
Hezbollah, an Islamist organization backed by Iran, operates both as a political party with significant influence in Lebanon and as a powerful military force.
Hashem Safieddine, a senior Hezbollah official, delivered a speech from a podium at the square’s far end.
He strongly criticized “the arrogance of the Zionists” for attributing the blast to Palestinian factions and expressed that this was worse than the targeting and killing of children.
He also asserted that Hezbollah was now “thousands of times stronger” and issued a warning to the United States, Israel, and “malicious Europeans” to be cautious.
Hezbollah is known for its military capabilities, including a well-trained armed wing with access to advanced weaponry, such as guided anti-tank missiles.
These capabilities have allowed the group to engage in conflict with Israel in the past.
On Wednesday night, the British Foreign Office issued a travel advisory, warning against travel to Lebanon and urging British citizens currently in the country to depart “while commercial options remain available.”
In another part of Beirut, a group of young people gathered at a roadblock leading to the U.S. embassy, where they encountered Lebanese military and riot police.
Tear gas and rubber bullets were fired by the authorities, and soldiers charged at the protesters, dispersing them onto a neighboring highway.
One of the demonstrators, Mohammed Taher, expressed his anger, stating, “America is the devil, the real devil because it supported Israel, and then the whole world is blind.
You don’t see what happened yesterday?”
About 130 miles to the south, in Tel Aviv, U.S. President Biden expressed support for Israel’s assessment that the destructive blast at Al-Ahli Arab Hospital was not the result of an Israeli airstrike but was caused by “an errant rocket fired by a terrorist group in Gaza.”
The hospital explosion, which triggered protests across the Arab world after Hamas quickly attributed blame to Israel, coincided with heightened tensions along Israel’s northern border with Lebanon.
Recent clashes between Hezbollah and Israel along the border have remained largely localized in a few border towns.
On Wednesday, Hezbollah announced another casualty within its ranks, marking the 11th since the conflict began.
Lebanese Red Cross and Hezbollah
The Lebanese Red Cross played a role in recovering the bodies and remains of Hezbollah militants who were killed in the conflict.
This highlights the humanitarian aspect of the situation and the organization’s role in assisting with casualties in the region.
Hezbollah confirmed the deaths of its fighters and received their remains.
Videos released on the organization’s Telegram channel depicted guided anti-tank missiles successfully destroying an Israeli tank that had been targeting a group of soldiers.
Simultaneously, the group’s snipers remained active in targeting and disabling surveillance cameras installed along the border.
As the confrontations persisted, Saudi Arabia advised its citizens to depart, citing “current events” in the southern region.
The U.S. State Department cautioned its citizens against traveling to the area and urged those already in the country to arrange for their departure.
Additionally, the French Foreign Ministry, given the security situation, particularly at the border with Israel, recommended that its citizens avoid any travel to Lebanon.
Earlier on the same day, the Lebanese Red Cross retrieved the bodies and remains of four Hezbollah militants who had lost their lives.
Three bodies and a bag of remains were transferred from the Lebanese Red Cross to Hezbollah’s Islamic health unit at Hiram Hospital, near the southern city of Tyre.
A Hezbollah spokesperson confirmed that these bodies belonged to militants whose deaths had been announced the previous day, without providing further details.
On Tuesday, Hezbollah had reported the deaths of five of its fighters. The spokesperson spoke on condition of anonymity, in accordance with regulations.
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