World First Iranian fuel deliveries reach Lebanon
Israel conducts first Lebanon air strikes in seven years: military
The Israeli air force said it carried out air strikes on neighbouring Lebanon for the first time in seven years Thursday, following a second day of rocket fire across the border. "Earlier today (Thursday), rockets were fired from Lebanon into Israeli territory," the Israeli air force tweeted. "In response... fighter jets struck the launch sites and infrastructure used for terror in Lebanon from which the rockets were launched."The air force said "an additional target in the area from which rockets have been launched in the past was struck as well".
Dozens of tanker trucks carrying Iranian fuel arranged by Shiite militant group Hezbollah arrived in shortage-hit Lebanon Thursday, an AFP correspondent reported.
As they entered from Syria through an illegal crossing in the eastern region of Hermel, the trucks were greeted by Hezbollah supporters waving the group's yellow flag and ululating women tossing rice and rose petals.
Hassan Nasrallah, the Iranian-backed group's leader, had promised in August he would bring fuel from Iran to alleviate the rationing that is sowing chaos across the country.
Iran Sponsors and Foments Anti-Semitism, but Its People Embrace Israel | Opinion
The Iranian regime's history of anti-Semitism is long, starting with the Islamic Revolution of 1979. In May of that year, Iran executed Habib Elghanian, the 20-year chairman of the country's Jewish community. Following a 20-minute show trial, Elghanian was convicted of being a "Zionist spy" and a "corrupter on Earth." Elghanian's death by firing squad led to a mass exodus of Jews from Iran—a Jewish community that traced back its ancestry for at least 2,500 years, since ancient Persia. During the shah's rule prior to 1979, there were approximately 100,000 Jews living in Iran.
Lebanon defaulted on its debt last year and can no longer afford to import key goods, including petrol and diesel to power generators.
A first Iranian ship reached the Syrian port of Baniyas earlier this week. The cargo was offloaded there and trucked to Lebanon, the first of several planned deliveries.
A total of 80 trucks carrying four million litres (more than one million gallons) of petrol entered Lebanon on Thursday and were expected to fill the tanks of Al-Amana, a fuel distribution company which is owned by Hezbollah and has been under US sanctions since February 2020.
"This is humanitarian aid that will meet the needs of the population," said Jawad, a 50-year-old Hermel resident who was among the crowd gathered to welcome the convoy.
Israel shells Lebanon after rockets fired over border
Lebanon’s army says Israel fired 12 artillery shells at the Wadi Hammoul area, causing no damage or casualties. The army said its units there had found three launching pads for grad rockets in the al-Qulaylah area, one of them with a rocket prepared for firing that was subsequently disabled by the army’s specialised units. Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz said in a statement that Lebanon was responsible for the overnight rocket fire and that “Israel will act against any threat to its sovereignty and its citizens”.
Hezbollah "is not replacing the state, it's a temporary measure until the state can deliver its duties," he said.
Nasrallah's announcement last month was a boon for the Tehran-backed movement and prompted several other fuel supply schemes via other regional powers to be announced.
A government lineup that had been over a year in the works was finally announced last week.
The main priority of Prime Minister Najib Mikati's cabinet will be to guarantee petrol and electricity supplies and curb other shortages that are crippling the country.
The amount of Iranian petrol being delivered can only meet a small part of the demand in Lebanon, where motorists spend hours -- sometimes days -- in queues to fill up.
The country of six million is experiencing its worst ever financial crisis, with a currency that has lost 90 percent of its value, people's savings trapped in banks and qualified labour emigrating in droves.
Sourcing fuel, Hezbollah cements role as Lebanon's real ruler .
Iranian fuel has entered Lebanon without state authorisation and despite US sanctions following arrangements by Shiite group Hezbollah, consecrating the party's status as the main powerhouse in the crisis-hit country. The party, which is designated by the US as a terrorist group and is the only militia to have kept its arsenal after Lebanon's 1975-1990 war, arranged for dozens of trucks carrying Iranian fuel to enter Lebanon via Syria last week. The delivery was not officially approved by the government and the trucks entered via an illegal crossing for a transaction that violates US and other sanctions.