Defense Minister Benny Gantz says Israel recently offered “aid” to the Lebanese military on several occasions amid the economic chaos in the country.
Speaking at the annual summit of the Institute for National Security Studies in a prerecorded speech, Gantz does not specify what aid was offered, but insinuates it was basic supplies that the Lebanese military is experiencing shortages of.
“Lebanon has become an island of instability… the citizens of Lebanon are not our enemies,” he says.
“And so this year I offered aid to Lebanon four times including in the past week, through the head of [UN peacekeepers in Lebanon] UNIFIL. We want to help the Lebanese army — which suffers from shortages of basic supplies, and has lost over 5,000 soldiers that left it recently — in the face of Hezbollah’s growing strength, with the direct support of Iran.”
Gantz further says that Israel will not allow Hezbollah to grow stronger “under the cover of the chaos” there, and that the Lebanese state will be held responsible for any threat to Israelis.
On Syria, Gantz says Israel “views positively the renewed ties between Syria and Jordan and other moderate nations in the region.”
He adds that “it is top interest of the Syrian people and Syrian regime to stabilize and get Iranian forces out of their territory, annd to enable the country to rebuild.”