Quarterly Updates for (1 Jul 2019 — 30 Sep 2019)

Palestinian and Syrian Refugees Protest in Lebanon

               Refugees from Palestine and Syria protested the Lebanese government’s crackdown on businesses hiring non-Lebanese citizens without work permits. In mid-July, the Lebanese government started closing down businesses that employed refugee workers without work permits. Palestinian refugees in particular also called for an end to laws that force Palestinian refugees to obtain work permits citing the fact that many Palestinian refugees can trace their refugee status in the country back to the Nakba. According to the Lebanese ministry of labor, the crackdowns on businesses have been instituted to persuade the some 1.5 million Syrian refugees to return to Syria. In Lebanon, Palestinian refugees are banned from working in more than 70 professions. Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas said he was in dialogue with the Lebanese government to aid the Palestinian refugees.


U.S. Hezbollah Sanctions

               On 7/9, the United States (U.S.) added 2 members of the Lebanese parliament from the Hezbollah party and 1 Hezbollah official responsible for coordinating between Hezbollah and Lebanese security agencies to its list of sanctioned individuals. The 3 top officials in Lebanon—President Michel Aoun, Prime Minister Saed Hariri, and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri—all criticized the U.S. administration’s decision. Speaker Berri called the sanctions “an assault on all of Lebanon.”


Israeli Attacks on Lebanon

               In the early morning of 8/25, 2 Israeli drones crashed into a media center belonging to Hezbollah in Beirut. Hezbollah said that both of the drones were booby-trapped, causing major damage. Prime Minister Hariri and President Aoun both sharply criticized Israel’s attack, with Aoun calling it a declaration of war. Israel later claimed that its drones had destroyed missile-assembling material in the Beirut attack. 1 day later on 8/26, Israel struck a base via drone belonging to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command in eastern Lebanon near Qusaya; no injuries were reported in the strike. 2 days later on 8/28, 3 additional Israeli drones entered Lebanese air space; the Lebanese army said it opened fire on 2 of them before all 3 returned to Israel. Then, on 9/2, an Israeli drone entered Lebanese airspace, to which Hezbollah responded by firing missiles at Israeli forces near the Blue Line; Israel then shelled some 100 targets in Lebanon. 1 week later on 9/9, Hezbollah said it shot down 1 Israeli drone in Lebanese air space. During this period, Israel also made attacks in Iraq and Syria.