The interview given by Riad Salamé, Chairman of the Central Bank of Lebanon, to CNBC triggered a war between the Lebanese banking system and Hezbollah.

Mr Salamé indicated that enforcing the US law against Hezbollah [1] had led Lebanese banks to close a hundred bank accounts, while constantly taking care not to upset their shi-ite clients.

If Hezbollah had anticipated the closure of its accounts relating to its military activities, it was surprised over the closure of its accounts relating to social and health activities, notably, the hospitals Bahman and al-Rassoul el-Aazam, well known throughout the Levant for their cutting edge services.

The decision taken by the United States violates the spirit but not the letter of the Geneva Convention. International humanitarian law protects access to health services.

Anoosha Boralessa

[1Lebanese banks partially blocked by a US law”, Translation Pete Kimberley, Voltaire Network, 3 May 2016.