German chancellor offers to help Lebanon after explosion

Israel is offering humanitarian medical assistance to Lebanon following the massive blast in Beirut Tuesday afternoon, even though the two countries have no diplomatic relations.

“Under the direction of Minister of Defense, Benny Gantz, and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gabi Ashkenazi, Israel approached Lebanon through international defense and diplomatic channels to offer the Lebanese government medical humanitarian aid,” a statement read.

Following the announcement, Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin tweeted, “We share the pain of the Lebanese people and sincerely reach out to offer our aid at this difficult time.”

Lebanon is one of a small number of countries Israel regards as an enemy state, and there have been no diplomatic relations since a ceasefire signed between the two countries in 1949.

As recently as last week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was warning that Lebanon, along with Hezbollah, bore “full responsibility” for what the Israeli army described as an infiltration by a Hezbollah cell into Israeli territory.

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