In Human Rights, International, Middle East, National Security

On October 17, 2023, an airstrike destroyed Gaza’s Al-Ahli hospital. The strike appears to have been carried out by Israel’s military. It killed many medical personnel and hundreds of civilians, mostly women and children.

On the following day, after news of the hospital’s destruction emerged, pro-Palestinian protesters converged on the United States Embassy in Beirut to condemn the strike as part of a national ‘Day of Rage’ .

I travelled to Lebanon on that day to report on the ‘Day of Rage’ protests and the rising tensions in south Lebanon between Israeli forces and those of Hezbollah.

When I arrived at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut on the afternoon of October 18, I found a chaotic scene. Over one thousand indignant, pro-Palestinian protesters were clashing with heavily armed Lebanese soldiers. The soldiers had blocked access to the U.S. Embassy with barbed wire. A fire was raging near the barbed wire, and protesters were hurling rocks at the soldiers. Within minutes of my arrival, the soldiers charged the protesters, firing tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets.

My video report of what happened at the U.S. Embassy appears below in five parts.

In Part 1, I describe what happened during a lull in the clashes:


In Part 2, soldiers charge at the protesters. The protesters initially retreat but then regroup. They charge back at the soldiers, but are met with a barrage of tear gas. Some of them are overcome by the noxious fumes.

In Part 3, after retreating from the barricade that blocked access to the Embassy, the protesters divided into three groups at an intersection nearby. The soldiers charged into the intersection, determined to take control of it. Initially, some of the protesters stood their ground and threw rocks at the soldiers from three angles. The soldiers then began firing rubber bullets. Some of them picked up rocks and threw them back at the protesters.

In Part 4, after soldiers secure control of the intersection, reinforcements arrive in military vehicles.

In the fifth and final Part, I surveyed the aftermath of the protest near the barbed wire barricade.

In the days ahead, I plan to visit Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon and certain areas of south Lebanon. As usual, you can follow my reporting on this website.

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Showing 14 comments
  • Steve

    Thank you for keeping us updated, Dimitri.

    Stay safe.

    • Dimitri Lascaris

      Thank you Steve

  • John Partyka

    Telling and timely report Dimitri. Clearly showing public anger in Lebanon. Thanks and take care!

  • David Gutnick

    Why did the Green Party not trust Dimitri to be their leader?
    Because they did not trust him.

    Here is an example of why Dimitri cannot be trusted.

    He writes:
    « The strike appears to have been carried out by Israel’s military.« 


    There is no proof yet.
    There is not proof either that the explosion was caused by an errant missile fired from Gaza- which is the position of the government of Israel.

    So with no proof we simply do not know.

    It is horrific.

    If it was an Israeli missile targeting the hospital- it is yet one more of that government’s war crimes- and those responsible must be prosecuted once facts are known.

    We have no proof yet who launched the missle.

    If it was a missile targeting the hospital-or accidentally hitting the hospital – fired from Gaza -it is of course equally a war crime.

    Remember we have no proof yet.

    We must not trust the Israeli propaganda machine on this.

    We must not not trust the American propaganda machine on this.

    We must not trust the Hamas propaganda machine on this.

    And of course we must not trust the Dimitri Lascaris – blogger – propaganda machine either.

    Is he there? No
    Has he an expertise in investigating the trajectory of missiles that we have not been told about?
    Does he have a yet revealed pipeline to thise on the ground who have come to conclusions?


    A lawyer, perhaps a good one, he wrote « appears »
    As he knows that affords him wiggle room, he will be able to say he « never said it was an Israeli missile. »

    He simple spread a rumour, he simple spreads propaganda with no proof.

    Reading folks who rely on «  wiggle room » is opposite of what we need now.

    This is a profound crisis, we need calm, deep and smart analysis not more crap.

    • Sheila Rea

      David, you are being rhetorical. No rumor is being spread by Dimitri’s report. He is taking the most credible reports as can be found, and many are coming to the same conclusion as I have too, that enough evidence is out to respectfully conclude that it does appear it was likely Israel. If it were a straight up unknown, that would be stated, as any good journalist like Dimitri would do.

      It’s bizarre you attack Dimitri’s journalism as spreading propaganda, when you are spreading propaganda about Dimitri as a person who can’t be trusted. Dimitri has more integrity in his reporting and opinion pieces than the vast majority of reporters out there, and sadly, a lot of people too.

  • David Gutnick

    Hi Sheila;
    All Dimitri had to say was « I don’t know,
    It is too early to tell. »

    No investigation has come to conclusions about the missile hit.

    Not the New York Times, not The Guardian, not Al Jazeera, not Le Monde, not Liberation, not Haraatz, not the Washington Post not any other major media that I read in translation (I will spare the list) . Nor has the BBC, the CBC, ABC,NPR, RFI ….

    And in fact they all state that they are still investigating.

    Among those listed – major news organizations with resources on site – and newsrooms – all in fact are vary wary. Even Al Jazeera which among those listed is the only one that suspects it was Israel – a preliminary investigation of their own video tape – leans towards blaming Israel, but this is not their conclusion, they do not have one yet.

    All other of those major media organizations say that the explosion does not appear to be the kind that would happen from an Israeli military weapon, so they still consider it a possibility that It was a possible misfire from Gaza.

    But again there are no conclusions, all are clear about that.

    Journalists work with editors who verify and check.

    Bloggers write what every they want, there are no checks and balances.

    I call Dimitri a blogger when he writes on his own site. No one checks his facts. Zero oversight.
    He says what he wants and that is fine, up to the reader to decide if they believe him.

    He makes no apologies for saying the October attack (where among the dead are Israeli pacifists and pro Palestinian activists and a few days later an Israeli Palestinian teenager) was a « success. »

    His words, his choice.

    My pointing out that the Greens did not trust him to be their leader is simply a fact.

    Since then of course the Green leadership and Dimitri have parted ways, the actual co- leader of the Greens criticized Dimitri on his uncritical Putin pro war stance and as you see Dimitri now has hit back and accuses the Canadian Greens of being pro war.

    What does this matter?

    Simply this: Dimitri has shown that he wants to carve out a public life as a commentator, hungry to be in the media (take a look at his website where his lists the media appearances.)

    And – who knows – he may want to be elected
    to office one day (municipal? Provincial? Federal?)
    Although since the Green failure he has not indicated he would, and since the only political party that shares his position on Putin is the Communist Party -that regularly gets .02 of the vote in provincial and federal elections – I would assume his running for them would be a no go.

    Dimitri is a lawyer.

    He has no academic credentials (no peer reviewed articles or books) when it comes to the major conflicts he comments on.

    He does not speak or read – for example – Russian nor Ukrainian nor Arabic nor Hebrew.

    He has never been posted as a journalist for any news organization in Russia nor Ukraine nor Israel or any Arab country.

    Why does all this matter?

    Because we all have to wade through a barrage of information to figure out where we stand, who to help, who is attempting to tell the truth and who is trying to spin us. What are the best ways to move
    towards a more just world?

    Dimitri’s followers are of course free to believe and trust him.

    As you see in the debate in this site ( to his credit Dimitri allows for criticism of his positions) some of us clearly don’t.

    • Rahul Majumdar

      At this point, to conclude who the guilty party in the al-Ahli Baptist Hospital is would be premature. However, we can look at the overall carpet-bombing of Gaza taking place, as well as the past four major Israel-Gaza conflicts to see that it isn’t the first time hospitals have been hit. Still wondering why you’re so obsessed with and insulting towards Mr. Lascaris. Jealous, perhaps?

  • David Gutnick

    No, not jealous, more frightened.

    We – socialists- saw how people who first thought they were building socialism from 1917 on in the USSR and Romania, Hungry, Yugoslavia, East Germany etc ended up making so many lives worse.

    Lessons learned: one cannot build socialism with brute force, one cannot build socialism with lies, the « dictatorship of the proletariat » may be a nice idea in the page, in reality it becomes a dictatorship period and the proletariat (whatever that means in 2023) wanted nothing to do with the lies that kept thise very undemocratic and unsocialist (sic) governments in power.

    I am not promoting capitalism.

    I am saying that when we say we are going to build better we have to build better.

    Not worse. And the reasons the USSR etc failed was because the people who lived there were convinced they were worse.

    So why am so keen on challenging Dimitri?

    Because he keeps refusing to acknowledge how complex conflicts are.

    In his world Israel is but an an apartheid state filled that can do nothing right, and Palestinians are all freedom fighters no matter whom they may harm.

    Of course Israel is indeed an apartheid state and there are of course many freedom fighters in Palestine.

    And – there are also many Zionist peace loving socialists in Israel and many anti-Jewish terrorist types in Palestine.

    What I am saying is that the politics of the region are
    Incredibly complex, incredibly rooted in both centuries of history and in very recent current affairs.

    Sometimes the good guys (and girls) are also the bad guys. Sometimes the bad guys are also the good guys.

    Maybe Israel did bomb the hospital. Given this government’s racist and anti- democratic acts this is entirely possible.

    But also this: Hamas is an unelected and equally racist terrorist organization. There are also of course many other organizations and other folks who have access to arms and may well have fired a missile that went astray.

    We just do not know.

    That is why we need experts who can – using science not ideology- trace the missile.
    Will that be possible?
    Well maybe not.

    Look we can’t even find out how many folks were injured or died. There are estimates from both sides- as low as 100 according to the USA and Israel, more than 500 according to the Gaza health ministry.

    All I am saying is that in a propaganda war we as folks in the left cannot be beholden to propaganda.

    Read Dimitri’s tweets. Look at his sources.

    That is why his one sided take on this conflict, and on Russia’s war on Ukrainian civilians frightens me to my very core.

  • Peter Wilson

    David Gutnick, Two things
    1. Hamas WAS elected in Gaza, in the last elections held in 2007.
    2. I think you meant “NATO and the Ukrainian Banderite Ultra Nationalist’s war on Russian speaking Ukrainians”, because that also “frightens me to my very core.” along with Zionist’s Ultra Nationalist war on Palestinians.
    We live in dangerous times, homage to Dimitri Lascaris for doing “on the ground” journalism in the manner of the late Robert Fisk.

  • David Gutnick

    So more and more governments including now Canada are now saying they have proof the terrible explosion at the hospital was not caused by Israel but rather from a missile fired from Gaza.

    Again, the investigations are not over, it is still possible that it was an Israeli missile. If that it is true it is terrible and a war crime (among others)

    Socialism – Dimitri calls himself an « eco socialist »
    Is not built on lies. Been there, tried that ….

    So question: Will Dimitri have the courage to apologize should his position – He has posted in a tweet with authority and no hesitancy nor doubt – be proven wrong that it was an Israeli missile?

    Or will he simply move on in silence?

    This is not a side issue, not «  rhetorical » it goes to the very heart of everything Dimitri stands for.

    To the very heart of his worth as an activist.

    Is Dimitri able to acknowledge a truth even when it goes against his own views?

    We shall see…

    Again, we do not yet know, there are not yet conclusions from independent investigations.


  • Rahul Majumdar

    @David: Perhaps it’s time to let UN investigators into Gaza to do their job? Your bias seems to be at least as bad as Dimitri’s, so if it was a U.S.-Israeli missile, will you acknowledge a truth even if it goes against your feelings? P.S. More deaths in the al-Ahli Baptist Hospital (parking lot) bombing – accidental or otherwise – than in the October 7th music festival massacre that apparently Israeli intelligence knew nothing about and Israeli surveillance (AI-based, I am told) completely missed…

  • David Gutnick

    Hey Rahul;
    Don’t you read what I have said?

    I fully support an independent UN investigation.

    Of course I will accept an independent investigator’s report.

    I also -of course – want journalists, be they American or Palestinian or Canadian or Egyptian or Israeli or whomever who work for credible news organizations to also investigate.

    Unlike Dimitri – who says he knows who did it – i simply point to a quickly growing number of news reports.

    I have no idea who did it.

    Like Dimitri I have no expertise whatsoever in this matter and don’t speak the languages, and have, imagine! no high level contacts with anyone who in the know. Not in Israel, not in Gaza.

    I admit I have no clue. Why should I? How could I?

    Dimitri just tosses his opinions into net and calls it evidence.

    Truly that is what he does.

    Why would any rational person believe his opinions on such complex and crucial matters?

    His expertise in this totals zero.

    Anyways here is yet more news report by a team of New York Times reporters who are trying to get to the truth.

    It was published today.

    « Five days after Hamas accused Israel of bombing a hospital in Gaza City and killing hundreds of people, the armed Palestinian group has yet to produce or describe any evidence linking Israel to the strike, says it cannot find the munition that hit the site and has declined to provide detail to support its count of the casualties.

    Within an hour of the blast on Tuesday night, the Hamas-run Gazan health ministry accused Israel of attacking the Ahli Arab hospital, a medical center in Gaza City where scores of families had been sheltering. The allegation was soon denied by Israel but quickly accepted and amplified by Arab leaders across the Middle East, setting off unrest throughout the region. The claim was widely cited by international news outlets, including The New York Times, before Israel issued its denial.

    But in the days since, as new evidence contradicting the Hamas claim has emerged, the Gazan authorities have changed their story about the blast. Spokespeople have released death tolls varying from 500 to 833, before settling on 471.

    The Hamas-run health ministry has also declined to release further details about those 471 victims, and all traces of the munition have seemingly vanished from the site of the blast, making it impossible to assess its provenance. Raising further questions about Hamas’s claims, the impact site turned out to be the hospital parking lot, and not the hospital itself.

    On Sunday, Hamas turned down requests by The Times to view any available evidence of the munition it said had struck the hospital, claiming that it had disintegrated beyond recognition.

    “The missile has dissolved like salt in the water,” said Ghazi Hamad, a senior Hamas official, in a phone interview. “It’s vaporized. Nothing is left.”

    Salama Maroof, the head of the Hamas-run government media office, said in a text message: “Who says we’re obligated to present the remnants of every rocket that kills our people? In general, you can come and research and confirm for yourself from the evidence we possess.”


    So there you go. Hamas says « the missile dissolved like salt in water. »

    Imagine: No other « Israeli » missiles that have hit Gaza have dissolved, just this one that magically «  vaporized. »

    Anyways as I have said before, if it indeed was an Israeli missile, it must be investigated as a a war crime.

    If it indeed turns out to have been an accident, a misfired missile fired from Gaza…well I guess those who trust Dimitri will no longer be looking to him for the truth.

    So no need to bother with him going forward whatsoever.

    • Rahul Majumdar

      Hey David,

      Credible journalists? Like what? The New York Times that incessantly beat the drums of war against the Iraqi people in the 2000s despite no WMD evidence? I’m afraid that these days, most so-called credible journalists are nothing but stenographers for the ruling elite – even more so when it comes to foreign policy. But I guess a paycheque is a paycheque…

      Sorry to say, my assertion increasingly applies to state media as much as it does to private, neoliberal corporate media shills. As you are/were a frequent CBC Radio contributor whose work I followed, I truly apologize if I hurt your feelings.

      So, I’m willing to take a chance on Lascaris who – like him or hate him – is at least presenting an independent style of advocacy journalism that’s sorely lacking in the mainstream press today. He’s present on the ground in the Middle East, and with his Real News Network experience, is no worse a source than the people masquerading as journalists/experts from comfy studios in the West.

      As for the issue in question, if indeed it was a misfired Hamas/Islamic Jihad missile that hit the al-Ahli Baptist Hospital, then it’s a tragic blunder that took place in a war setting, i.e., the saturation aerial bombing of Gaza and its people from the IDF for over 2 weeks. Israel still has tens of thousands of sorties in this Gaza campaign and the four previous “wars” to its credit, including the destruction of churches, mosques, and yes – even the odd hospital (you can look it up, many to choose from).

      BTW, it’s 4,600 Palestinians deaths and 1,400 Israeli deaths since October 7 (as of October 22nd), all equally tragic and pointless. A 3:1 kill ratio and rising if you’re keeping count. As for death tolls, I tend to trust the body bag count. How about you?

      Collective punishment as a tactic for revenge is a war crime. Forced starvation is a war crime. Sealing 2.2 million people in an open-air concentration camp is a war crime. And, a lack of accountability for the October 7th massacre and mass kidnapping of Israelis is itself a crime that puts Jewish blood on Bibi Netanyahu’s hands.

      So convenient to have a war to distract people from domestic politics and fraud charges, courtesy of an organization in Gaza Mr. Netanyahu helped flourish.

      Now the question becomes: Do Palestinians – like Israelis – have a right to defend themselves militarily? Even at the risk of a potential blunder as you seem to be asserting re. al-Ahli Baptist Hospital blast?

      Live On TV (You Can Watch Them Die) – The Box

  • David Gutnick

    Hello Rahul;
    First i want to thank Dimitri for allowing me to write on his page. Heaven knows how profoundly critical of much of what Dimitri says and how he says it. Allowing me to write here over the weeks despite my ferocious opposition to his thinking is appreciated.

    Now …yes, the New York Times makes mistakes.
    You seem to have neglected however to read the correction of the stories you refer to:

    Yup all média make mistakes – the Guardian (non profit leans left, the Times, the Washington post, the cbc (hey no hard feelings…just to let you know that I was there and had to correct only one factual error amongst more than 2000 stories i did over 36 year (so hundreds of hours of broadcasting and tens of thousands of words on I won a couple of complaints to the ombudsman’s office. Etc.
    Rahul major news organizations like those I mentioned plus the BBC, radio France etc plus magazines like The Nation, the New Yorker, Atlantic etc etc etc all have rigorous editors, rigorous fact checkers, and ombudsman and editorial guidelines that must be followed.

    If you want to disregard all that ..go ahead but frankly I dare you to be specific in your complaints. Go ahead, find facts that are false, find quotes that are false, etc.. you can disagree with the editorial policies, you can disagree with the opinion pieces (which are all over the map, the Times publishes Chomsky and those on the left and the Times publishes right wingers) but you can’t just point fingers and say the NewYork Times (and all media?)
    Jist oublish lies.

    You know that is simply infantile.
    You are better that.
    You know too that the “alternative media” too is full of false accusations, propaganda etc.

    Our job as citizens is to call out all propaganda, to challenge everyone, friends and foes.

    Truth matters, not crap even if it is crap from one’s one “side.”

    Of course look at all media with the same critical eye, be it The Breach or Canadian Dimension or Libération or TheReal News Network or Radio Pacifica or Haraatz or any other serious news outlet.

    I spent two to three hours a day (!) reading and comparing and thinking, all kinds of stuff.
    Always with a critical eye.
    Everybody gets the same treatment.
    Of course established news outlets have huge reputations to live up to.

    In journalism the bottom line is this: one cannot lie, every fact, every line in every story has to be rigorously proven and defended. There are editors, sometimes even teams of editors that do that.

    Bloggers are loose cannons.
    There are thousands of bloggers out there with zero editorial rigour.
    Dimitri is a blogger.
    And time and time again myself and others have shown how he lacks objectivity, he lacks rigour and he disregards facts.

    Of course you can choose to believe who you want.

    You are free to believe any nonsense you want to.
    You are also free to challenge, being a blogger is not being a journalist it is being a lobbyist…
    Some bloggers are serious and have lots of credentials, be they academic, or other.
    Other bloggers with zero credentials just like to chase wars , they buy themselves airline tickets to crisis zones and type away. No fact checkers, no editors, no one to challenge.


    As for Israel’s apartheid state and the government reaction to the terrorist attack, I agree with you.
    The open air prison is horrific, the bombing by Israel of Gaza is wrong it too is criminal, I think Netanyahu and some of his ministers and military officials should be hauled in front of the International Criminal Court.

    Today I listened to – among other things- the Ezra Klein podcast with two left wing Jewish intellectuals.
    They are totally critical of Israel.
    They are also very knowledgeable about the recent history, have written about Palestinian politics and history and have a good understanding of – for example – Hamas.

    Nothing here is easy
    Nothing here is simple
    It is totally possible to be both a left wing Zionist (Israel is a legitimate legal state founded by refugees) and want an equally legitimate and legal Palestinian state (or some other kind of state too? I am not an expert, there are many options? Very complex as I said. Many experts have many opinions.)

    All I have been saying Rahul is this:
    We cannot build a better world by tossing around lies.
    We as people on the left cannot accept Putin’s lies (no this is not a war against Nazis, it is a war against civilians, an imperialist war led by Russian capitalism); for now Zelensky fights for his country’s survival, Ukrainian socialists don’t like him but support him because Russia’s imperialism is worse.

    And finally this: the hospital bombing.
    True there is no report yet from the UN.
    So we do not know.
    More and more evidence is coming to light and it looks more and more like the missile came from Gaza.

    Google: you will see that this is more and more the discussion among very credible journalists and organizations.

    But we do not yet know.

    All credible journalists take a wait and see position.

    Dimitri did not and does not. He has chosen his camp despite the growing evidence.

    People interested in truth do not do that.

    Dimitri has taken an ideological position, not based on truth seeking but on propaganda spreading.

    No problem, his choice of how to work. He is free to do that.

    We are free to get on board, or to do the opposite and challenge him.

    Challenge him not because we don’t like him (never met him but he seems nice enough) but because we think his ideological positions are bad for working people.

    We do not build better worlds with propaganda, we do it by working with reality.

    End of rant.

    At the NYTimes there was an internal discussion of how to cover the hospital bombing.

    Vanity Faire just published this:

    Rahul I am out of here now.

    And to Dimitri, thanks again for allowing me to write here but it is clearly not a space where I want to spend anymore time.

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