Explosions that brought to mind Hiroshima and Nagasaki rocked the Lebanese Capital Beirut yesterday. Israel has offered humanitarian aid to Lebanon, despite ongoing tensions with the Lebanese-supported terror group Hezbollah.
Israel and Lebanon have no diplomatic relations and are generally hostile neighbors, but the Jewish state was moved by the horrific tragedy.
“We share the pain of the Lebanese people and sincerely reach out to offer our aid at this difficult time,” President Reuven Rivlin wrote on Twitter in Arabic, English and Hebrew.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi said in a joint statement that “Israel approached Lebanon through international defense and diplomatic channels to offer the Lebanese government medical humanitarian aid.”
Israel is famous for offering assistance to other nations during natural disasters.
“This is the time to transcend conflict,” the Israel Defense Forces said on Twitter.
Under the guidance of the @Israel_MOD and @IsraelMFA, Israel has offered to send humanitarian & medical assistance to Lebanon via security and international channels. This is the time to transcend conflict. pic.twitter.com/tUvGFTGBeR — Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) August 4, 2020
Nevertheless, Lebanon was not expected to take Israel up on the offer. While the Lebanese government is hostile to Israel many of the Lebanese people support the Jewish state an reject Hezbollah. Many Lebanese fighters and their families were granted citizenship to Israel when their families fled the terrorists in 2000.
The Beirut Port was destroyed by blasts which may have been caused by ammonia nitrate, though the cause is under investigation. Despite tension between Lebanon and Israel in the last few weeks, Israel said it had nothing to do with the explosions. Even Lebanon has admitted this.
The destruction comes amid a severe economic, financial crisis and mass protests gripping the Arab country. Nassif Hitti, Lebanon’s foreign minister, resigned on Monday, warning that Lebanon risks becoming a “failed state.”