Thursday, 24 Sep 2020 - 6 of Tishri, 5781

Israel expresses solidarity with the Lebanese people

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The head of one of the largest hospitals in northern Israel called on the Lebanese government to accept the Israeli humanitarian aid offer.

The facade of Tel Aviv’s city hall was illuminated with the Lebanese flag. Mayor Ron Huldai stated: “Humanity comes before any conflict, and our hearts are with the Lebanese people following the terrible disaster they experienced.”

Despite the fact that there are no relations between Israel and Lebanon, Israel has marked its solidarity with the Lebanese people following the deadly explosions in Beirut that killed at least 135 people and wounded thousands more.

The facade of Tel Aviv’s city hall was illuminated with the Lebanese flag on Wednesday night. “Our hearts and thoughts are with the Lebanese people and all those affected by the terrible disaster in Beirut,” the municipality tweeted.

Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai said: “Humanity comes before any conflict, and our hearts are with the Lebanese people following the terrible disaster they experienced.”

Israel swiftly offered its assistance after after the blast which occurred in the port of Beirut.

In a tweet, the Israeli Foreign Ministry wrote: “At the direction of FM (Foreign Minister)  @Gabi_Ashkenazi and Defense Min. Gantz, Israel via security and international channels has offered humanitarian medical assistance to the government of Lebanon.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “On behalf of the government of Israel, I send my condolences to the people of Lebanon. Yesterday Lebanon suffered a major catastrophe. We are ready to offer humanitarian assistance, as human being to human beings.”

Israeli hospitals offer to take wounded in Beirut explosion 

The possibility of Israeli hospitals taking in foreigners wounded in the Beirut explosion was being considered.

The head of one of the largest hospitals in northern Israel called on the Lebanese government to accept the Israeli humanitarian aid offer.

In an interview with Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot, Dr. Masad Barhoum — head of the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya — urged Lebanon to let Israel provide help, and made a plea for peace between the two countries.

Referring to a crossing point on the Israel-Lebanon border, Barhoum said, “The State of Israel is ready to open a field hospital south of Rosh Hanikra, but it is much quicker to send patients to us so we can treat them.”

“I reached out to the president of Lebanon and said I was opening the doors of the hospital in order to receive any wounded person,” he added. “Every minute that passes, more people will die, and unfortunately, we know that in these incidents, there can be a collapse of the health system.”

Speaking in Arabic, Barhoum continued, “Perhaps this will be Lebanon’s last major disaster. Maybe we can help one another and bring peace.”  He indicated that in recent years he had treated 3,000 war wounded from the war in Syria. The hospital manager said that he had been “informed by the Israeli army of the possibility of the wounded arriving from Lebanon”.

Tel Aviv’s Sourasky Medical Center made a formal statement, saying, “We are ready to extend help in any way necessary and receive any wounded person.”

Addressing the Lebanese people directly, the medical center declared, “Be strong, and let us know only peace and brotherhood.”

Professor Yitshak Kreiss — director-general of the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer — stated that his hospital could take in Lebanese injured in the explosion, saying, “It is our duty to help anyone who needs it, and especially our neighbors.”

“We are prepared and ready for any task assigned to us,” he added.

The Ziv Medical Center in Safed, in northern Israel, and Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa also offered assistance to Lebanon.

According to the Lebanese authorities, some 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate, stored “without precautionary measures” in the port, are at the origin of the blasts.

Ammoniun nitrate used by Hezbollah operatives

Ammonium nitrate has been used before by operatives of Hezbollah, the Lebanese shiite terrorist group, in planning out abroad a terror attack. In 2015, a Lebanese-Canadian man tied to Hezbollah was convicted in Cyprus after he was found in possession of 8.5 tons of ammonium nitrate in his basement. That same year, the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence service, told authorities in the U.K. of four properties in North West London that contained three tons of ammonium nitrate belonging to Hezbollah. Earlier this year, the Mossad again tipped off Germany on Hezbollah’s activities on its soil, including warehouses in the south of the country where Hezbollah stashed hundreds of kilograms of ammonium nitrate.

 

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