Qabbani Slams Politicians’ Inaction, Demands Opening of Lebanon’s Borders to Syrian Refugeesإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Grand Mufti Sheikh Mohammed Rashid Qabbani revealed on Friday that Lebanese gunmen have deployed along the Lebanese-Syrian border to prevent refugees “fleeing their country’s massacres” from entering Lebanon.
He therefore demanded during the Friday Muslim prayers from the president, speaker, and prime minister that the border between the two countries be opened to the refugees.
He added that he contacted a Lebanese official to inquire about the refugees, saying that the official informed him that only refugees arriving at the border in cars are allowed in Lebanon, while the rest “are poor” and therefore not granted entry.
Qabbani slammed the policy, demanding the opening of the border to all Syrians in need.
“Didn’t Syrians harbor Lebanese refugees during the days of war with Israel?” he asked officials.
“Why are you adopting such a policy? Is it for political purposes?” he wondered.
“The Lebanese people will be the first victims should the state of politics in Lebanon remain as it is now,” warned the grand mufti.
“Why didn’t officials head to the Masnaa border crossing and convince the security forces to allow the refugees to enter Lebanon?” asked Qabbani.
He revealed that he had contacted Prime Minister Najib Miqati more than once to tackle this issue, but his telephone calls were unanswered.
“Be warned that Lebanon will not be spared of strife in the region. They are headed to the country and they will be more destructive here than elsewhere,” he declared.
Up to 30,000 Syrians have fled into Lebanon over the past 48 hours, the U.N. refugee agency said on Friday.
"Thousands of Syrians crossed into Lebanon yesterday. Reports vary between 8,500 and 30,000 people having crossed in the past 48 hours," UNHCR spokeswoman Melissa Fleming told reporters in Geneva.
In Thursday's fighting, more than 300 people were killed, the majority of whom were civilians, making it the heaviest toll yet in 16 months of fighting, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Friday.