Lebanon’s Economy Minister Amin Salam has sounded a grave warning about the potential consequences of further escalation in the conflict between Israel and Hamas, emphasizing the devastating impact it could have on Lebanon’s already fragile state.
— Joshua Klein (@JoshuaKlein_) October 14, 2023
In an interview with the Abu Dhabi-based National, Salam expressed deep concerns and a firm stance on behalf of his country, as he pointed out that even a “small escalation” would exact a “very heavy price” on Lebanon, given its current dire economic situation.
The minister emphasized Lebanon’s vulnerability, citing its poor infrastructure and the lack of national reserves for food and medication. “We will pay a very heavy price, even with a small escalation in the south of the country,” he explained.
Salam stressed the stark reality that Lebanon is already teetering on the edge of disaster. Its infrastructure is in dire straits, and there are no national reserves of essential resources like food and medication. Even a minor escalation in the southern part of the country would exact a devastating toll, according to him.
“What we’re facing today threatens the very existence of Lebanon,” he warned.
To deal with the issue, the Lebanese government is actively formulating emergency plans focused on food security and medical contingencies. Salam emphasized that they are preparing for the worst while hoping for the best.
Despite Lebanon’s government, which includes members of Hezbollah, expressing a desire to avoid war, Salam made it clear that Lebanon would defend its borders against any full-scale Israeli attack. “We will not accept any invasion of Lebanon, nor will we tolerate the possibility of Lebanon facing a fate and slaughter akin to that witnessed in Palestine,” he declared.
Aside from the country’s economic imbalance, Salam stressed Lebanon’s determination not to become a pawn in what he refers to as “a larger geopolitical game.” He insisted that the only way forward is for Lebanon to assert its independence and declare that it will not be a weak link.
The situation remains highly volatile as Israel and Hezbollah, along with Palestinian allies in Lebanon, exchange fire in the wake of Hamas’s recent attack, which included acts of violence against civilians and rocket attacks on Israel.
When asked about his opinion on Hamas’ actions against Israel, Salam declined to comment, emphasizing his focus on the humanitarian crisis in Palestine.
This is not surprising given that the terrorist group is an ally of Iran-backed Hezbollah, which has taken a strong stance against the United States, declaring it a “full partner” of Israel in the current conflict. According to the group, the U.S. is responsible for the ongoing violence and suffering in the region.