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July 6, 2021 11:43 am

Israeli Defense Minister Gantz Offers Lebanon Humanitarian Aid Via UN

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avatar by i24 News

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz attends a cabinet meeting of the new government, at the Chagall Hall in the Knesset, the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem, May 24, 2020. Photo: Abir Sultan / Pool via Reuters / File.

i24 News – Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz is offering to send humanitarian aid to the country’s beleaguered northern neighbor, via the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), his ministry announced Tuesday.

On Sunday, Gantz spoke movingly at the dedication of a memorial to the soldiers of the Southern Lebanese Army in Israel’s most northerly city Metulla about how the situation in Lebanon is painful for him to witness.

Lebanon is beset by myriad problems, some self-inflicted and others — like the response to the coronavirus pandemic, highlighting how difficult it is to manage with such a dysfunctional government. The country is in the midst of an economic crisis, which the World Bank recently labeled one of the three worst since the 1850s.

According to an assessment released by UNICEF on Monday, 77% of Lebanese households don’t have enough money to buy food. The country’s medicine importers have warned that they have run out of hundreds of essential drugs. Electricity outages and gas shortages are commonplace and the Lebanese Armed Forces announced it is offering tourists helicopter rides for $150 dollars in order to make money, reported the Jerusalem Post.

Although Gantz has repeatedly offered Lebanon humanitarian aid, his gesture took on additional significance after Lebanon’s interim Prime Minister Hassan Diab warned that the country was a few days away from a “social explosion,” calling on the international community to save it.

Considering the enmity between Israel and Lebanon — largely driven by the pernicious influence of the Lebanese Iranian Shiite proxy Hezbollah — it seems likely that, even if it could, the current government will not accept help from the Jewish state.

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