Lebanese economy was on cusp of recovery, World Bank says. Then came Oct. 7, and Hezbollah started firing

Lebanon’s economy is set to fall back into recession, the World Bank says, blaming the Israel-Hamas war and heating conflict on Lebanon’s southern border.

Lebanese terror group Hezbollah and allies have harassed northern Israel with a steady hail of rocket, missile and drone attacks since early October meant to tie the IDF down and keep it from concentrating on Gaza. Israel has carried out small-scale reprisals and has warned that the continued attacks could lead to all-out war.

The World Bank says Lebanon’s economy had been forecast to grow for the first time since 2018 — by 0.2 percent — thanks mainly to summer tourism and remittances from the large Lebanese diaspora.

But “the current conflict and its spillovers into Lebanon are expected to quickly reverse the tepid growth projected for 2023, as the economy returns to a recession,” it says.

More than half of travel reservations to Lebanon have been canceled for winter holidays, the World Bank said, warning that “tourism cannot, on its own, serve as the basis for an economic recovery.”

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