Al-Mustaqbal movement leader ex-PM Saad Hariri on Monday called for “solidarity” with Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh, the baking sector and “all the heroes who are defiant in the face of terrorism,” a day after a blast rocked the Beirut headquarters of Lebanon's second largest bank.
“Yesterday, Lebanon and its economy and banking sector were subjected to a clear terrorist message,” said Hariri at an iftar banquet he held at the Center House for students from several Lebanese universities and children from the Khaled Foundations.
“Today, I call on you to stand for a 'minute of applause' rather than a minute of silence, in salutation and solidarity with all those who are still resilient in Lebanon and with the banking sector and Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh,” Hariri added.
“Let us clap for all the heroes who are defiant in the face of terrorism,” Hariri went on to say.
On Sunday, Hariri reassured that Lebanon will emerge victorious from its “long battle” with “terrorism and bombings.”
“Terrorism will not intimidate the Lebanese, we will all confront it and Lebanon will prevail in the end,” said Hariri at a Mustaqbal iftar banquet in BIEL on Sunday that coincided with the time of the blast.
The explosion outside the Verdun headquarters of BLOM Bank, one of the country's largest, wounded two people and caused extensive material damage to the building's glass facade and the parked cars.
BLOM bank has been criticized by some pro-Hizbullah politicians for taking a hard-line position after Lebanese banks began abiding by a U.S. law that sanctions doing business with the Iran-backed Lebanese group.
Authorities say dozens of bank accounts related to Hizbullah's organizations have been closed in recent weeks.