Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Beirut has issued a statement expressing its close monitoring of the evolving situation in southern Lebanon, where heightened tensions are prevalent along the border with Israel. In light of these circumstances, Saudi Arabia is advising all its citizens to leave Lebanon promptly.
The escalating conflict in southern Lebanon has seen confrontations between Hezbollah, Palestinian militants, and Israel, resulting in the unfortunate loss of lives, including civilians and a Reuters journalist. This situation underscores the urgency of the matter, prompting Saudi Arabia to issue this advisory.
The recent surge in tensions can be attributed to the ongoing conflict between Hamas, a Palestinian militant group, and Israel, with hostilities erupting on October 7. This conflict has seen a distressing number of casualties, predominantly civilians, on both sides. In response, Israel conducted a series of retaliatory airstrikes on the Gaza Strip.
Hezbollah, a Lebanon-based group with Iranian support, has subsequently become embroiled in a sequence of retaliatory incidents with Israel. The rocket strike on a Gaza hospital, resulting in substantial casualties, led to Hezbollah’s call for a “day of rage.” In response, hundreds of Hezbollah supporters convened in Beirut’s southern suburbs to protest the incident, despite Israel’s disavowals.
Given the evolving situation and the potential risks associated with remaining in Lebanon, the Saudi embassy has emphasized the importance of its citizens exercising caution and avoiding areas with ongoing gatherings or demonstrations.
Kuwait has also issued a travel advisory this week, cautioning its citizens against traveling to Lebanon. The Kuwaiti foreign ministry recommends patience in planning visits to Lebanon during this volatile period and encourages those already in the country to consider voluntary departures unless absolutely necessary.
In light of these developments, it is crucial for individuals to stay informed about the situation in Lebanon and to heed the advice provided by their respective embassies to ensure their safety during this period of heightened tension.