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Gantz: Israel offered Lebanon army assistance 4 times last year

ARLINGTON, VA - DECEMBER 09: Israeli Minister of Defense Benjamin Benny Gantz meets U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin (not seen) at the Pentagon on December 9, 2021 in Arlington, Virginia. ( Yasin Öztürk - Anadolu Agency )
Israeli Minister of Defense Benjamin Benny Gantz, 9 December 2021 in Virginia, US [Yasin Öztürk/Anadolu Agency]

Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz yesterday revealed that Israel offered assistance to the Lebanese army four times over the last year, Israeli media reported.

Speaking in a pre-recorded speech played at the annual conference of the Israeli Institute for National Security Studies, Gantz said Israel submitted offers four times over the past year to provide support for the Lebanese Armed Forces.

"Unfortunately, Lebanon has changed to an island of instability, though Lebanon's civilians are not our enemies," he said. "Therefore, I offered assistance to them four times over the last year, including over the last week, through UNIFIL."

He added: "In a targeted manner, we want to support the Lebanese army that suffers from a lack of basic supplies, and which has lost 5,000 of its soldiers recently."

Gantz did not state what the assistance was offered or how Lebanon responded.

Israel and Lebanon do not have diplomatic ties, but the Jerusalem Post said that Tel Aviv wishes to strengthen the Lebanese army as a counterweight to "Iran's proxy" in Lebanon, Hezbollah.

READ: Lebanon to complain to UNSC against Israel violations

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