Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Friday, February 20, 2015

HAMAS THREATS TO USE LEBANON AS A BASE AGAINST ISRAEL MAY RAISE COUNTRY RISK

                                 

Your Country Risk assessment for Lebanon, already elevated due to ISIS/ISIL knocking on the door, and with Hezbollah making warlike sounds regarding its intent to use the Golan Heights to attack Israel, was just further complicated by a new threat. Hamas, still unhappy with the utter failure of the Arab world to join in against Israel this past Summer, is threatening to utilize the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, to launch attacks against Israel.

With the bitter memory of the damage inflicted upon Lebanon in the 2006 conflict between Hezbollah and Israel in mind, the prospect of a new conflict, which will bring more death and destruction upon Lebanese civilians, and infrastructure, the last thing that the Beirut financial structure needs is more war, but it could occur, and it could seriously disrupt the operation of the banking sector, and thus render it less attractive to foreign bank clients, and investors, for years to come. Will there be a return to the madness of armed conflict ? If so, clients will exit in droves.

Should Hamas begin to attack Israel, from Lebanon, the consequences could be dire; a strong Israeli response might compel Hezbollah to enter the fray, and ISIS/ISIL might then choose to bring the Sunni-Shiite aspects of the Syrian civil war into Lebanon proper, not just the frontier region. The result would be chaos. For those reasons, one must consider again raising Country Risk for Lebanon.

1 comment:

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