Today, on February 14, 2024, Lebanon and its people solemnly commemorate the 19th anniversary of the tragic assassination of Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. This heinous act, perpetrated in broad daylight in the heart of Beirut, continues to evoke feelings of anger and sorrow among the Lebanese populace.
The perpetrators of this crime, as conclusively determined by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), were identified as high-ranking members of Hezbollah’s military and intelligence apparatus. Even prior to the STL’s findings, the Lebanese people had already pointed fingers towards Hezbollah, recognizing the cold-blooded nature of the massacre and its orchestrated execution.
It was widely acknowledged that Hezbollah, acting under the directives of the Syrian and Iranian regimes, orchestrated this barbaric act of violence, with the active involvement of Syrian and Iranian intelligence agencies, and the complicity of their Lebanese proxies, the assassination of Rafik Hariri was meticulously planned and executed.
Despite the considerable financial resources invested in the Special Tribunal for Lebanon—amounting to approximately one billion dollars—true accountability remains elusive. While the court managed to identify the individuals directly involved in the assassination, it fell short of apprehending or prosecuting them. Furthermore, it failed to address the pivotal questions concerning the masterminds behind the crime, namely the Syrian and Iranian oppressive regimes, along with those who provided the financial and logistical support.
Regrettably, the lack of accountability extends beyond Hariri’s assassination, encompassing numerous other politically motivated killings that have plagued Lebanon’s history, dating back to the early sixties. The perpetrators of these crimes, whether operating under Palestinian, Syrian, or Iranian occupations, continue to evade justice, perpetuating a culture of impunity.
In the absence of genuine judicial accountability, the memory of Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and all the martyrs of Lebanon remains tarnished.
As we reflect on this somber anniversary, let us remember and honor the sacrifices of these patriotic Lebanese individuals, and pray for the peace of their souls.