Lebanese woman Sali Hafiz stormed BLOM Bank in Beirut with a fake gun demanding she withdraw money to pay for her sister’s cancer treatment today. She was successful. A separate armed storming at Bank Med was also reported about an hour afterward, and was also successful. Armed withdrawals are becoming increasingly frequent in Lebanon since the first instance on August 11.
In the midst of a severe financial crisis, the Lebanese state has applied strict limits to how much can be withdrawn from bank accounts, leading to basic necessities being denied to the general population. This response to the financial crisis is perceived as inhumane by many citizens, as it burdens the Lebanese people instead of the banks and financial institutions who many find to be responsible for it. The Lebanese state and banks, on the other hand, argue that the withdrawal limits are necessary to prevent hyperinflation and other problems.
Sectarian tensions are rising, and intrastate warfare is likely to resume if the Lebanese state cannot solve the crisis on its own.