Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah said in an October 3, 2023 speech, which was streamed live on Spot Shot Online (Lebanon), that Hizbullah would consider the idea of allowing Syrian refugees to leave for Europe on ships. He said that if Hizbullah does allow Syrian refugees to sail to Europe legally on ships rather than risking their lives on rubber boats, the European countries will "come crawling" to the Government Palace in Beirut, willing to give Lebanon anything it wants to stop the refugees from flooding Europe.
Hassan Nasrallah: "Who caused the war in Syria? America and its people. This is well known. The war was directed by the U.S. ambassador to Damascus, who was stationed in Turkey, and by the operations rooms of Arab and American generals. Whenever there is a war anywhere in the world, people naturally want to emigrate elsewhere.
"Do the Lebanese know that responsibility for the security-motivated displacement into Lebanon lies, first and foremost, with the U.S. government, which ignited the war in Syria. Okay, so the war failed, but along came a second wave of [refugees] – the economy-motivated displacement, as the Lebanese call it. Who is responsible for the economy-motivated displacement in Syria? It is the United States of America.
"I say this to all the Lebanese. When the war in Syria came to an end, international companies were rushing to invest in Syria, so Syria could have been revived, the Syrians could have stayed there, and the people who emigrated could have returned to their country. Why? Because there would have been construction, electricity, water, job opportunities, new buildings, and a rebuilding of the economy. But along came the United States, and imposed the Caesar Act. How come some people in Lebanon ignore these facts, and cast the responsibility at the Syrian regime, or at Syria's friends in Lebanon? This is not fair.
"We hear from some people in politics and in the media, and from people on social media... We hear an idea that I am not saying we should accept or reject. All I am saying is that this idea can be considered.
"The question these people ask is why should we block Syrian refugees from leaving Lebanon by sea towards Europe. When we block them, they try to leave illegally, and are forced to board those rubber boats, and every day or two, there is a tragedy of people drowning at sea. Why? The Lebanese government, the Lebanese army...
"This idea is being discussed in Lebanon. The idea is to stop doing this, and let them leave in ships, rather than in rubber boats. The people who promote this idea do not say that we should round up the [refugees] and throw them into the sea. But we can deal with it in a humanitarian manner, and say that Syrian refugees who want this will get the opportunity to board ships and sail to Europe, rather than sneak at night to take rubber boats.
"The people who promote this idea say that it would lead to an inevitable outcome – the European countries will come crawling to the Government Palace in Beirut, asking what they can give the Lebanese people to stop the flower of refugees into Europe? This is what Turkey and other countries did. In any case, this idea is up for discussion. Even in Hizbullah, we may sit down and discuss this idea, and whether to adopt it and act on it."