The deterioration of the economic situation in Lebanon led to the spread of disasters, the last of which was the storming of banks, which became frequent. The catastrophe lies in the fact that the storming of banks is being done as people are desperately demanding their own money that the banks are unable to provide, and not for the sake of robery. One case that has caught the attention of th media is the case of Sally Hafez.
Sally Hafez stormed into a branch of BLOM Bank “BLOM BANK”, with the aim of claiming part of her money held at the bank, bAecause she needed to treat her sister from a serious illness that threatens her life. Sally appeared in videos that spread on social media as she stormed the bank and was accompanied by other people whose identities were not known, and she was carrying a pistol, and climbed to a table in the bank screaming for her withheld money.
And after she obtained part of her savings, she said in an interview with the Lebanese Al-Jadeed channel, that she did so after she contacted the bank many times in an attempt to get her money, and her request was rejected, and the purpose of taking her money with the bank was to treat her sister, whose health condition worsened in the last period.
She also clarified that after several negotiations with the branch manager of BLOM Bank, he informed her of the possibility of obtaining $200 of her money per month at an exchange rate of 12,000 Lebanese pounds to the dollar, about 2 million Lebanese pounds, an amount that does not cover the cost of the daily needle that her sick sister keeps. She also added that the amount held for her in the bank is 20 thousand dollars, which is the amount of pensions she and her sister obtained from work, in addition to the fact that her sister’s treatment needs about 50 thousand dollars. And she did not get her full amount, but only got 13,000 dollars, which she was able to get to spend on her cancer-stricken sister to save her. Therefore, Sally Hafez is not a thief or fraud who broke into the bank, but rather was a reaction to the current situation in Lebanon and the collapse of the financial situation that prompted her to do so due to her urgent need for money to treat her sister.
A matter that has become prevalent in the Lebanese society, as banks have become unable to return the deposited amounts as a result of the economic crisis in Lebanon. Before the Sally Hafez incident, another Lebanese citizen resorted to threatening bank employees with weapons and holding hostages in order to obtain his existing money. It is the third incident of its kind for depositors to storm Lebanese banks in order to recover their savings by force. This Lebanese citizen and his son entered the Byblos Bank branch in Ghazieh, Sidon, southern Lebanon, demanding the return of his deposit. He threatened the employees with a firearm, took a number of hostages, poured gasoline and threatened to burn the branch, if his deposit was not granted. This citizen managed to get $19,200 from his deposit and handed it over to someone who was waiting for him outside, then released the hostages, and handed himself and his son over to the Lebanese security forces who came to the place.
And all of this is from the repercussions of what Lebanon is suffering from a severe economic crisis, in parallel with the political crisis that the country is witnessing, which has affected the financial situation in Lebanon and pushed citizens to such actions as a result of the banks not providing them with their money. This is a result of decisions by the Central Bank as a result of the economic crisis, as Lebanon is facing an energy crisis, so the Central Bank decided to completely stop providing dollars for gasoline imports, a step that may increase fuel prices and the situation will worsen.