Israel offers bitter rival Lebanon aid after huge Beirut explosions

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Israel on Tuesday offered humanitarian aid to Lebanon, with which it is still technically at war, following the huge explosions that rocked Beirut, killing dozens of people and wounding thousands.

“Following the explosion in Beirut, Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, on behalf of the State of Israel, have offered the Lebanese government – via international intermediaries – medical and humanitarian aid, as well as immediate emergency assistance,” said a joint statement from the two ministries.

The offer comes after two weeks of heightened tensions between the rival neighbors.

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Last week, Israel accused the Lebanese group Hezbollah of trying to send gunmen across the UN-demarcated Blue Line and said it held the Lebanese government responsible for what it termed an attempted “terrorist” attack.

Hezbollah and Israel last fought a 33-day war in the summer of 2006.

Lebanon’s General chief Abbas Ibrahim said Tuesday’s blast may have been caused by explosive materials confiscated years ago and stored at the city’s port.

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