US Anti-Hizbollah Sanctions Law Haunts Lebanon’s Banking Sector

This week’s bomb attack on the headquarters of one the largest banks in Lebanon – BLOM Bank– was yet another reminder that the crisis precipitated by the implementation of US banking sanctions against the Lebanese Shia paramilitary movement Hizbollah is far from over.

The importance of the international banking system to Lebanon’s economy means it can’t afford not to implement the measures (MEES, 3 June). But, as the 12 June attack underscores, doing so risks further destabilizing Lebanon’s fragile political system. The attack on BLOM Bank on Beirut’s trendy Verdun Street, which occurred during the evening, when people were off the streets and preparing to break their fast during Ramadan, was evidently meticulously timed to inflict heavy material damage on the bank’s headquarters and to spare loss of life. Two people sustained minor injuries. (CONTINUED - 1142 WORDS)