Solidarity with Lebanon follows devastating explosion

PNN/ Ramallah/

Palestinian people and officials on Tuesday expressed solidarity with Lebanon following the devastating explosion in Beirut port, causing at least 135 deaths and over 5,000 injuries.

Following what was described as “an apocalyptic scene”, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas assured readiness to provide support to Lebanon to help it recover from the tragedy, while sending his condolences to the families of the victims.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh said in a press statement that Palestine is “ready to put all its capabilities” for the service of Lebanon and provide any needed assistance immediately.

Member of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Executive Committee Hanan Ashrawi also expressed sorrow over the “devastating tragedy,” expressing the wish for Beirut to overcome the calamity.

In the Gaza Strip, Ismail Haniyeh, head of the Islamic Hamas movement, phoned Lebanese President Michel Aoun to express his support midst this grave situation in Lebanon. Enditem

The Lebanese Red Cross is coordinating with the Ministry of Health to receive the mortuary bodies since hospitals are no longer able to receive more.

For its part, the Supreme Council of Defense of Lebanon, Beirut, declared a “devastated” city after the explosion.

Lebanese firefighting and civil defense teams have been continuing to remove debris at the port of Beirut and its surroundings in search of victims of the massive explosion that rocked it on Tuesday evening.

Information indicates that dozens of missing persons are still under the rubble of buildings, some of which were completely destroyed.

A warehouse storing thousands of tons of an unsecured and volatile chemical compound has emerged as a possible source of the blast. It’s still not exactly clear what led to the ignition that wiped out entire streets, but questions swirled Wednesday over whether the authorities had failed to act on warning signs.
Prime Minister Hassan Diab said that 2,750 metric tons of ammonium nitrate — typically used as an agricultural fertilizer — had been stored for six years at a warehouse in the Beirut port without safety measures, “endangering the safety of citizens,” according to a statement.
300,000 people have been displaced from their homes due to the explosion.