Fox News correspondent Trey Yingst reported Monday that demonstrators in Lebanon say the resignations of the country’s prime minister and his cabinet following last week’s deadly explosion at Beirut’s port are “not enough.”
Yingst said he had witnessed clashes between security forces and protesters who want to see a “larger overhaul of the government.”
During a news conference on Monday, Prime Minister Hassan Diab said he is taking “a step back” so he can stand with the people “and fight the battle for change alongside them.” Earlier Monday, Lebanese health minister, Hamad Hassan, told reporters that “the whole government resigned” after large, violent demonstrations took place in Beirut over the weekend.
At least 220 people have died as a result of Tuesday’s explosion, which injured more than 7,000 others and left an estimated 300,000 people homeless.
Lebanon’s information minister, Manal Abdel Samad, was the first to quit on Sunday, followed by Environment Minister Damianos Kattar.
Justice Minister, Marie-Claude Najm stepped down on Monday. While trying to visit a damaged neighborhood over the weekend, Najm was met with shouted insults, sprayed by water hoses, and forced to leave.
According to Yingst, protesters had told him that “there are still Hezbollah links within the government who are influencing the way in which Lebanon operates and had a role, they believe, in that disaster just last week.”
President Trump joined an international donor call on Sunday hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron and United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. World leaders and international organizations have pledged nearly $300 million in emergency humanitarian aid to Beirut in the wake of the explosion, but warned that no money for rebuilding the capital would be made available until Lebanese authorities commit themselves to the political and economic reforms demanded by the people.
Yingst said the Lebanese people feel like “nothing has changed,” and believe that “any sort of international aid coming in, whether it’s from France, Germany or the United States will just end up in the hands of corrupt people.”
The explosion is believed to have been caused by a fire that ignited a 2,750-ton stockpile of explosive ammonium nitrate. The material had been stored at the port since 2013 with few safeguards despite numerous warnings of the danger.
Fox News’ Danielle Wallace and The Associated Press contributed to this report.