People in Lebanon assumed that the queues at gas stations were going to decrease due to the fuel subsidies according to the 8,000LBP rate, and the skirmishes at the stations would cease.
However, that hasn’t been the case. The queues are not only the same, but they have also increased, and clashes at the gas stations continue.
On Friday, a surgeon got hit by a knife at the Hayek gas station in the town of Maghdouche for trying to stop a fight between local towners and people from Anqoun, a nearby town.
The main reason for the fight is a phenomenon now happening often across Lebanon, which is selling fuel tanks according to the black market rate instead of filling people’s cars according to the official rate.
Doctor Hicham Hayek told The961 that he was called in to intervene and stop the fight because he’s well known in both towns as he medically assists and treats the people of both towns.
However, it didn’t go well at all with him, as he came out severely wounded.
“Due to fears of having a sectarian-based fight,” Dr. Hayek told us, he went to the site of the fight.
“After a series of negotiations, a group of guys from outside Maghdouche hit me with a knife and cut my hand tendons,” he recounted, and “as soon as the Lebanese Army forces came, the guys fled the station.”
“Because of the long queues and the lack of fuel availability, a lot of fights have been happening on gas stations,” Dr. Hayek told us, only confirming what has become common knowledge across the country.
Dr. Hayek came to know the identity of his aggressors and filed a lawsuit against them.
According to locals, and as reported by NNA, there were about 6 other people injured in that fight. Assaults and threats against the towners of Maghdoushe, including the smashing of some cars, were reported after the incident, with tensions still prevailing in town.
The municipality of Maghdouche issued a statement strongly condemning the attack on its people, especially on Dr. Hayek, “the benefactor, and known for his sacrifices for everyone and always striving to achieve the interest of the town.”
It blamed the ongoing problems on the “completely unacceptable accumulations of abuses that the town has experienced over the course of weeks,” reportedly from the nearby towners of Anqoun.
“These heinous acts and behaviors are condemned in whole and in detail and in an indisputable manner,” the statement said, urging the security forces to play their role and arrest the aggressors.
The municipality even warned that it will close “all gas stations indefinitely until the best mechanism for maintaining security is crystallized.”
Similarly, the Lebanese Doctors Syndicate in Beirut strongly condemned “the knife stabbing attack against the surgeon Hisham Hayek,” and called on the authorities to “prosecute the aggressors whose identities are known by name,” and “impose the most severe penalties on them.”