As clashes develop between anti-government protesters and security forces in the perimeter of the Lebanese Parliament in Beirut, deputies are having a hard time reaching the building in Nijmeh Square to attend the session of the vote of confidence.
In that context, it's being said that the Lebanese Red Cross is assisting MPs in overcoming this difficulty. Claims are that the Lebanese Red Cross (LRC) is secretly transporting Lebanese officials to Parliament in their ambulances.
In response to the circulating rumors that spread on social media, the LRC totally denied the claim in an official statement the non-governmental organization released:
يؤكد #الصليب_الأحمر_اللبناني على أنه لا ينقل بسياراته إلا الحالات الإنسانية التي تحتاج إلى نقل إلى المستشفيات وكل ما يتم تداوله عن إنتقال مدنيين من سياسيين أو غير سياسيين بسياراته هو غير صحيح على الإطلاق. pic.twitter.com/KmYoB0QQhS— Youssef Sfeir (@YoussefSfeir) February 11, 2020
"The Lebanese Red Cross confirms that its vehicles only transport humanitarian cases that need to be transferred to hospitals. Everything that is circulating about the transfer of civilians, from politicians to non-politicians, in its cars is wholly untrue."
The Red Cross has been on high alert since Tuesday morning, in conjunction with the scheduled Parliament session to deliberate the vote of confidence for the new government.
"13 teams from the Lebanese Red Cross are responding in the area," it had announced at around 4:30 PM.
At the time of writing, "45 people have been transported to nearby hospitals and 328 people have been treated at the scene." Moreover, "14 extra standby teams have been stationed nearby to intervene if needed," according to the LRC.
وسط بيروت: تم نقل حتى الساعة ٤٥ جريحًا إلى مستشفيات المنطقة و تم إسعاف ٣٢٨ مصابًا في المكان pic.twitter.com/7g0Oy39Ia3— Lebanese Red Cross (@RedCrossLebanon) February 11, 2020
The violent encounters between security forces and the protesters are ongoing in Central Beirut as the parliamentary session progresses.
They started the session without quorum... EVERY SINGLE SECURITY AGENCY + THUGS ON SCOOTERS, and they still couldn't do it.— Gino Raidy 🇱🇧 (@GinoRaidy) February 11, 2020
The Thawra never went anywhere, and it's stronger than ever ❤️🇱🇧 #لبنان__ينتفض #لا_ثقه pic.twitter.com/ZJP7J7ClB1
While anti-riot police are resorting to the use of force, tear gas, and water hoses to push back and disperse the anti-government demonstrators, some of the latter are weaponizing stones to attack passing convoys of deputies, as well as the security forces themselves.