Beirut Municipality Postpones Waste Incinerator Decision amid Protest
A protest was staged Thursday outside the headquarters of Beirut Municipality in the center of the capital ahead of a session for discussing and approving the terms of reference for setting up a controversial waste incinerator in the city.
The decision on the move was however postponed amid reservations voiced by council members belonging to the Lebanese Forces, the Free Patriotic Movement and other parties.
“The FPM and the LF have reservations over the terms of reference and we will take into consideration everyone's remarks regarding the incinerator on the condition that they are scientific,” Beirut Municipality chief Jamal Itani said after the meeting.
The secretary general of the Sabaa Party, Ghada Eid, meanwhile said that the decision was postponed after “the majority of the municipal council members rejected the incinerator.”
Eid took part in the sit-in alongside the MPs Paula Yacoubian, Nadim Gemayel and Elias Hankash and dozens of protesters from the Sabaa Party, the National Dialogue Party and civil society groups.
The National News Agency said the protest involved a minor scuffle between activists and security forces.
“They clash in politics but their deals remain on track,” Yacoubian said, referring to the government parties.
“We are one people in our rejection of this incinerator,” the MP added, noting that Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of Beirut Elias Aude and Maronite Archbishop of Beirut Boulos Matar in addition to Sunni Muslim clerics have also voiced their rejection of the incinerator.
Gemayel meanwhile said his Kataeb Party rejects the presence of incinerators in any area of Beirut, warning that such a plan would harm all residents.
Eid meanwhile warned over the record cancer cases in Lebanon, challenging Itani to engage in a public debate with environmental experts.