Beirut blast: Israel, France and UK offer support to Lebanon

Beirut blast: Israel, France and UK offer support to Lebanon
Beirut blast: Israel, France and UK offer support to Lebanon

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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - Israel offers medical and humanitarian aid, as well as emergency assistance, to a country it's still at war with.

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, Defence 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 neighbours. 

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.

Meanwhile, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Tuesday that France stood "alongside Lebanon" and was ready to help it after the powerful explosions that rocked Beirut.  

"France stands and will always stand by the side of Lebanon and the Lebanese. It is ready to provide assistance according to the needs expressed by the Lebanese authorities," he said in a tweet. 

French President Emmanuel Macron said French aid and resources were being sent to Lebanon.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Britain stood ready to provide any support it could to help Beirut.

"The pictures and videos from Beirut tonight are shocking," Johnson wrote on Twitter. "All of my thoughts and prayers are with those caught up in this terrible incident.

"The UK is ready to provide support in any way we can, including to those British nationals affected."

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