Thought for the day

"Ignorance is a virus. Once it starts spreading, it can only be cured by reason. For the sake of humanity, we must be that cure." -- Neil deGrasse Tyson

Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Wednesday said Iran was attempting to “buy” Lebanon by having it rely on the Hezbollah terror group for fuel and repairing the country’s failing power network.

“Iran, through Hezbollah, is trying to buy Lebanon by supplying fuel, repairing the electricity system and building power plants,” Gantz said at an event in the northern town of Katzrin.

Iran is ready to send ships loaded with fuel to Lebanon within one or two weeks to help run the country's power plants, the Iranian embassy in Beirut told Al-Manar TV as a Lebanese delegation was in Tehran to discuss energy cooperation.

Israel has raised the state of alert and ordered its troops to prepare for any scenario following Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah’s threats to target the offshore Karish gas drilling rig, Israeli media reported.

On Saturday, Nasrallah said that Israel’s extraction of gas from the Karish gas field before Lebanon obtained its rights is a “red line.”

US Envoy for Energy Affairs Amos Hochstein with Lebanese Foreign Minister Abdallah Bouhabib, left, in Beirut, Lebanon, June 14, 2022. (AP/Bilal Hussein)

US Envoy for Energy Affairs Amos Hochstein with Lebanese Foreign Minister Abdallah Bouhabib, left, in Beirut, Lebanon, June 14, 2022. (AP/Bilal Hussein)

Outgoing Lebanese President Michel Aoun revealed on 19 September that US-mediated negotiations to demarcate the maritime border with Israel are in their “final stages.”

“Negotiations to demarcate the southern maritime borders are in their final stages, in a way that guarantees Lebanon’s rights to explore for gas and oil,” Aoun tweeted on Monday after meeting with UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Joanna Wronecka.

Israel's Sabra & Shatila Massacre Remains Unpunished Since 1982 MikeRivero Mon, 09/19/2022 - 07:15

Bodies at the Sabra and Chatila refugee camps in Beirut, Sept., 1982.

Palestinian associations prepare the commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the massacres in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps, Lebanon, committed by Christian militias and the Israeli army between September 16 and 18, 1982.

Forty years after Christian militiamen massacred Palestinian refugees and Lebanese nationals in the country's Sabra and Shatila refugee camps, the horrors of the tragedy remain seared into survivors' memories.

Najib al-Khatib, whose father and 10 other family members were killed in the massacre, still remembers the stench of corpses.

At least eight banks were held up by depositors seeking access to their own money frozen in the banking system in Lebanon on Friday, in an escalating spate of such incidents this week.

Local media reported that over a span of a few hours on Friday morning, at least eight bank branches across Beirut and other towns were stormed by people looking to withdraw their own money.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz warned on Thursday that Lebanon would suffer dire consequences if the Hezbollah terror group torpedoes US-mediated talks between Israel and its northern neighbor over a maritime dispute.

The dispute, which involves competing claims over offshore gas fields, escalated in June after Israel moved a production vessel near the Karish offshore field, which is partly claimed by Lebanon.

Gantz said ominously that if Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah wants to disrupt the ongoing talks, “he’s welcome to do so, but the price will be Lebanon.”

Another significant section of the devastated Beirut Port silos collapsed on Tuesday morning in a cloud of dust. No injuries were reported — the area had been long evacuated — but the collapse was another painful reminder of the horrific August 2020 explosion.

The collapse left the silos’ southern part standing next to a pile of charred ruins. The northern block had already been slowly tipping over since the initial explosion two years ago but rapidly deteriorated after it caught fire over a month ago due to fermenting grains.

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