Israel on Tuesday evening offered humanitarian aid to Lebanon, a neighboring country with which it is technically at war, after deadly explosions in Beirut for which it denied any responsibility.
“Israel has turned to Lebanon through international security and political contacts to offer humanitarian and medical aid to the Lebanese government,” the Israeli foreign and defense ministries said in a statement.
Two powerful explosions at the port of Beirut left several dozen dead and hundreds injured and extensive damage over several kilometers, sowing panic and causing a huge mushroom of smoke in the sky of the Lebanese capital.
Lebanon’s General Security director-general Abbas Ibrahim said the explosions may have been due to “explosives confiscated years ago,” but added that the ongoing investigation should determine “the exact nature of the incident “.
“I see no reason to doubt the information coming out of Beirut (…) this is an accident which appears to have been caused by a fire,” Israeli foreign minister Gabi Ashkenazi told Tuesday evening at Israeli channel 12.
“Israel has nothing to do with this incident”, government source says
“Israel has nothing to do with this incident”, also commented to AFP a government source requesting anonymity. Tensions between the two countries have escalated in recent days, with the Israeli army on high alert at the Lebanese border.
Last week, after months of relative calm, Israel said it foiled a “terrorist” attack and opened fire on gunmen who crossed the “Blue Line” between Lebanon and Israel, before they returned to the Lebanese side. .
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attributed the infiltration to Hezbollah, a pro-Iranian armed movement very influential in Lebanon and whom the Jewish state regards as its enemy. Accused of “playing with fire”, Hezbollah has denied any involvement.
Video: Lebanon: two explosions shake the city of Beirut (Le Figaro)