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Netanyahu Moving Israel Troops to Lebanon Border Raises Concerns for Lebanon’s 80K Armenian Community

Updated: Jun 27

Bourj Hammoud, Armenian district, Beirut, Lebanon
Bourj Hammoud, Armenian district, Beirut, Lebanon

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Sunday that Israeli troops will be moving from Gaza to Lebanon. This news has raised concerns among the Armenian community in Lebanon, which consists of approximately 80,000 individuals. The Armenian Report reached out to a trusted source in Beirut to understand the implications for the Armenian population in Lebanon.


Q&A with Our Source in Beirut


Q: What does this mean for the Armenian community of Lebanon?


A: The Armenian community in Lebanon might be physically far from the borders where the fighting is ongoing, yet they are in the vicinity of possible targets by the Israeli army. Considering the Israeli targets of the 2006 war and Lebanon’s devastation from the Beirut port explosion, COVID-19, and an economic and financial crisis, an attack by an Israeli army that does not have an ounce of respect for civilian lives is the last thing they need.

An old woman sitting on a street and selling Armenian flags and souvenirs in Bourj Hammoud
Bourj Hammoud, Armenian district, Beirut, Lebanon

Q: How serious is this? How will it affect the Armenian community?


A: The seriousness of the threat might be questioned, even though Israel has never needed a reason to attack or try to invade Lebanon as part of their Zionist ideology. The circumstances are primed for an Israeli attack. Since the start of hostilities in October, every week we have heard about an imminent Israeli invasion, and it hasn't happened yet.

Smoke rises following the Israeli strike targeted in Lebanon's al- khaim town in Nabatieh Governorate; March 2024
Smoke rises following the Israeli strike targeted in Lebanon's al- khaim town in Nabatieh Governorate; March 2024

Q: Should loved ones and relatives living abroad be worried?


A: Loved ones living abroad have always worried about their relatives in Lebanon, and by now they know which threats to take seriously and which not to. However, for the past four years, the situation of the Lebanese in general, and the Lebanese Armenians in specific, has caused a lot of worry for those living abroad, and we fear that it will not decrease.

Aerial view of Beirut, Lebanon
Aerial view of Beirut, Lebanon

Q: What is being done by the Lebanese government to protect its citizens?


A: The Lebanese government, in this financial and economic situation, as well as being shunned by the international community and having a vacant presidential seat, is still doing all that is in its power to decrease tensions and find a diplomatic solution. However, the ball is in Israel's court, not the other way around.


Bourj Hammoud, Armenian district, Beirut, Lebanon
Bourj Hammoud, Armenian district, Beirut, Lebanon

Netanyahu's TV Interview


In his TV interview with Israel’s Channel 14, Netanyahu mentioned that while the current ground offensive in Rafah, Gaza, is nearing completion, this does not mark the end of the conflict with Hamas. He indicated that fewer troops would be required in Gaza, allowing for the redeployment of forces to the north. “We will have the possibility of transferring some of our forces north, and we will do that,” Netanyahu said. He emphasized that this move is primarily for defensive purposes and to enable displaced Israelis to return home.

Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu

The situation remains fluid, with significant implications for the stability of the region and the safety of various communities within Lebanon, including the Armenian community.

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