From Lebanon’s Daily Star, July 19:
Latest targets of air blitz: milk and medicine
BEIRUT: Israel switched gears in its military campaign against Lebanon Monday and Tuesday, launching a series of debilitating air strikes against privately owned factories throughout the country and dealing a devastating blow to an economy already paralyzed by a week of hits on residential areas and crucial infrastructure.
The production facilities of at least five companies in key industrial sectors – including the country’s largest dairy farm, Liban Lait; a paper mill; a packaging firm and a pharmaceutical plant – have been disabled or completely destroyed. Industry insiders say the losses will cripple the economy for decades to come.
“I think the picture will be much worse than we can possible imagine when the whole thing ends, but the direct damage from yesterday’s attacks to the industrial sector alone will take years to recover from,” said Wajid al-Bisri, the vice-president of the Lebanese Association of Industrialists (LAI).
Due to broken lines of communication to the affected areas, the full extent of the material and human damage was still unknown when The Daily Star went to press. However, up to 15 factories have been hit, according to some estimates.
Bisri confirmed that a plastics factory in Tyre, a tissue paper factory in Sidon, a paper mill and a medical supply company in Beirut’s southern suburbs and Liban Lait in the Bekaa were all almost completely destroyed. Bisri declined to give the companies’ names.
Former LAI president Jacques Sarraf said he was aware of two plastics factories in the South and one in the Bekaa that had suffered extensive damage.
“There is nothing strategic about these targets, we need the industrial sector to rebuild this country,” he said.
“But Israel is the enemy and they are doing everything they can to destroy the country, economically, socially, politically.”
At a Monday meeting the Council of Industrialists issued a statement asking that the international community intervene and negotiate a cease-fire and an immediate end to Israel’s blockade of Lebanon, which has made casualties out of all companies, directly targeted or not.
From PR Inside, July 18:
DEEP PURPLE REFUSE TO CANCEL CONCERT IN BEIRUT
Rock band DEEP PURPLE are refusing to cancel a scheduled concert near Beirut, Lebanon, even in light of the crisis in the Middle East.
The band insists it will honour its commitment to perform at the Baalbeck Music Festival outside Beirut on 28 July.
The group released a statement Monday saying, “The band has never canceled a show and has no intention of doing so.
“If the festival promoter decides to cancel the show as a result of the current conflicts, Deep Purple will vow to reschedule in the near future.” The band is in the midst of a two-year tour in support of their album RAPTURE OF THE DEEP.