Lebanon’s Prime Minister Hassan Diab posted, and then deleted, a tweet Tuesday decrying the deteriorating security situation in the country, and suggesting that security forces and the judiciary had been remiss in imposing control on certain regions of the country.
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“The country is facing exceptional challenges, and there are arms escaping and attacks on security centers, and it’s as if things are not under control,” Diab wrote in the subsequently deleted tweet. “Where are the security services? Where is the judiciary? What is their role in imposing the prestige of the state? How is it that we can impose security on one area but cannot impose it on others? What is happening does not call for political accommodation; it requires a serious and determined security decision.”
The post drew mockery from a number of social media users before it was removed.
“Where are the security services? Where is the judiciary? Where is the prime minister?” wrote one Twitter user.
Another poster mocked Diab’s confidence upon assuming office that he and a “technocratic” government that could pull the country back from a massive economic and political crisis. “Learned the hard way that you walked into a trap and now you and the cabinet are prisoners of the political body.”
...none of those institutions exist and function properly, to which you said "I, the technocrat, will fix". Your book wasn't helpful huh? Learned the hard way that you walked into a trap and now you and the cabinet are prisoners of the political body.— Ali Baroudi 🇱🇧 (@RealAliBaroudi) July 28, 2020
Stop hiding from the truth
The tweet’s subsequent disappearance also drew criticism.
.@Hassan_B_Diab confirming his "style"... After the overwhelming reaction to his ridiculous tweet, instead of owning it, clarifying, apologizing, or actually providing answers, he just deletes it :) pic.twitter.com/ruK2hdtN8g— Ayman Mhanna (@AymanMhanna) July 28, 2020
Similar wording appeared in a post Tuesday afternoon on the state National News Agency site describing discussions at the meeting of the Supreme Defense Council. The wording had not been removed from that post as of late Tuesday afternoon.
The comments came in the context of a series of rambling remarks on the various challenges and threats Lebanon is facing, including what he described as a “dangerous military escalation” by Israel on Lebanon’s southern border. Israel fired into Lebanese territory Monday – Israeli officials claimed it was in response to an attempted raid by Hezbollah, while Hezbollah denied having taken any action on the border and said that Israel had rather taken a “nervous action” due to being on a heightened state of alert. Hezbollah was widely expected to retaliate against Israel for the reported killing of one of its fighters in Syria.
Diab called for “caution in the coming days, because I fear that things will slip for the worse in light of the severe tension on our borders with occupied Palestine.”
In his comments, Diab also decried “mafias” that he said have been controlling the markets for fuel and foodstuffs in Lebanon, asserting that they are creating false shortages of fuel and other essential items because they “hide it until they sell it on the black market at a higher price.”
The Prime Minister also wrote on the recent visit to Lebanon by French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian that the visit “did not bring with it anything new and [Le Drian] lacked information regarding the path of government reforms and linked any assistance to Lebanon to achieving reforms.”
He added that Le Drian’s insistence on “the necessity of passing (aid) through the International Monetary Fund confirms that the international decision is not to assist Lebanon until now.”