Israel Prepares Offer of Emergency Oxygen Supplies to Meet Shortage in Lebanon
Israeli Health Ministry Director General Hezi Levy has ordered his staff to prepare for the possibility of sending oxygen machines to Lebanon, Channel 13 reported Thursday, due to the severe shortage of medical equipment for the treatment of coronavirus patients.
The news came as Eitan Dangot, former chief Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), suggested that the Jewish state offer the supplies to Lebanon via the United Nations, even if it was not accepted.
“Lebanon is in need of oxygen balloons — Israel will be wise and just if it offers through the UN to deliver oxygen balloons as a tribute and for purposes of humanitarian aid,” retired IDF major-general Dangot wrote on Twitter Wednesday.
“The proposal is likely to be rejected, but it is a signal to its citizens, to the sane political echelon, to France and the United States that Lebanon can be helped in many ways with reasonable policy changes to build public confidence and to differentiate and isolate [Lebanese terror group] Hezbollah,” he wrote. Dangot has in the past served as Military Secretary to three of Israel’s Defense Ministers: Shaul Mofaz, Amir Peretz and Ehud Barak.
Reuters has reported that Syria has agreed to offer emergency oxygen supplies to Lebanon, where hospitals have 1,000 patients on respirators and are about to run out, ministers in both countries said Wednesday. According to the report, Syria will provide over 82 tons of oxygen over three days, health minister Hassan al-Ghobash told the state news agency SANA.
Lebanese hospitals have only a single day’s supply left as bad weather has prevented transport ships from docking, its caretaker health minister, Hamad Hasan, told Syrian state broadcaster Ekhbariya. Hasan did not say whether the patients on respirators were infected with the COVID-19 virus.