The leader of the Lebanese Forces (LF) Samir Geagea did not appear in court on Wednesday morning for his hearing over the Tayyouneh clashes.
LF partisans along with other supporters of Geagea‘s stance against the court summon blocked roads and protested against the military intelligence’s decision, which they deem prejudicial in favor of Hezbollah.
The clashes erupted during Hezbollah and Amal‘s protest against the lead investigator of the Beirut Blast on October 14th, where protesters were seen chanting sectarian slogans and vandalizing cars on their way through the district of Ain El-Remmaneh, known as a stronghold of the Lebanese Forces (LF).
The situation evolved quickly into armed clashes that killed 7 people and injured dozens. The first several injured were reportedly residents of Ain El-Remmaneh.
Accusing each other of stirring sectarian strife, Nasrallah and Geagea exchanged blame afterward.
Similarly, Amal accused the LF and Judge Tarek Bitar, and most recently the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) – a rival party of LF – of allegedly colluding with the LF in the Tayyouneh clashes.
Judge Fadi Akiki, State Commissioner to the Lebanese Military court, charged 68 people with sedition, murder, possession of illegal war weapons, and destruction of private and public property, with only 18 detained.
The reactions from the public, particularly the LF partisans, came out strongly when the Military Court issued a summon for Geagea while excluding the leaders of Amal and Hezbollah, which protesters were seen heavily armed shooting at residential buildings during the clashes, including with RPGs.
Tweets labeling the event as the “invasion of Ain El-Remmaneh” by Hezbollah and Amal have been ongoing ever since, with the related hashtag trending.
Geagea, who has only gained more popularity with that summon as seen by the reactions, had previously stated in a televised interview that he is ready to give his statement in court only if Hassan Nasrallah does it first.
On the road leading to Geagea‘s house in Maarab – North Lebanon on Wednesday morning, hundreds of supporters held the LF flag, aiming to prevent him from attending the hearing while expressing their support.
Convoys in several parts of Lebanon were seen carrying the LF flags and/or photos of Geagea.
Some high-positioned clerics expressed their outrage against the summon by ringing church bells.
Other confessions in Lebanon also participated in the rally of protest, supporting Geagea‘s stance, and condemning Hezbollah‘s grip on the government and judiciary.
Convoys from Tripoli were seen also supporting Geagea, and chanting slogans against Hezbollah.
Similarly, the hashtag “summon us all” trended on social media from inside Lebanon as well as from LF supporters in other world cities.
Geagea acknowledged the participants’ effort in Wednesday’s demonstrations, affirming that they are protesting against the politicized judiciary.
“You came to support the investigation of the port explosion and to confirm that the perpetrator of both the explosion and Ain El-Remmaneh events is the same person,” he tweeted, referring to Hassan Nasrallah.
It is to note that prior to these events, partisans of Hezbollah and Lebanese Forces have been accusing each other over the Beirut Blast.