Lebanese woman holds up bank, retrieves deposit to treat ill sister
In a deepening economic crisis, more Lebanese are taking things into their own hands.
Lebanese woman Sali Hafiz was able to retrieve around 13,000$ of her trapped deposits after briefly holding up a branch of BLOM bank in Beirut on Wednesday morning.
As the Lebanese economy is facing a deep crisis since 2020, banks have imposed limited withdrawals of hard currency for most depositors, leaving more than 75% of the population struggling to make ends meet and afford even the most basic goods.
Hafiz stated that she needed her savings withdrawn in order to treat her cancer-stricken sister.
"I was begging for money for months, my sister is dying in front of me. The bank is the 1 that robbed us. After begging the bank, they told me that they'll give me $200 max from my own money. That doesn't help w my sister's cancer medication" Sali Hafiz https://t.co/ICy4sVNjGW https://t.co/58xTY6FZIp pic.twitter.com/ePOJNzWAft— Saad Abedine (@SaadAbedine) September 14, 2022
On a live stream on her Facebook page during the event, Sali said, "I came today to claim the deposits for my sister who is dying in the hospital."
"I came to claim my rights," she said.
On a similar event on the same day, Lebanese man Rami Charafeddine barged into MED bank in Aley and retrieved nearly 30,000$ of his deposit before turning himself in to the security forces that escorted him to the local police station.
Lebanon 🇱🇧 depositors hold up bank and take hostages to withdraw savings— Saad Abedine (@SaadAbedine) September 14, 2022
Sali Hafez told al-Jadeed TV that the gun she was carrying was a toy
Another depositor M. SH. managed to get $30,000 from a bank in Aley before being arrested by the ISF https://t.co/n4GBunijW8 https://t.co/IvzzRLggjz pic.twitter.com/9LPIvFsXVn
It is noteworthy that as public frustration with bank policies increases, more citizens are hailing such actions as heroic and rightful on social media, which was clearly seen in the case of Bassam Al-Sheikh Hussein, a Lebanese man that took a bank hostage in order to retrieve a small part of his savings to pay for his father's surgery.