Lebanon sea blockade ends

Israel has ended its sea blockade on Lebanon, one day after the lifting of an air embargo that was imposed at the start of its war with Hezbollah fighters.

    Israel imposed the blockade on Lebanon on July 13

    Miri Eisin, a spokeswoman in Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's office, said on Friday: "The naval blockade has been lifted.

    "The UN naval force led by Italy has taken control of the sector in complete coordination with the Israeli military and will be implementing the embargo on arms intended for Hezbollah."


    Israel's military confirmed its warships were returning home  after being stationed off the coast of Lebanon for weeks to ensure that weapons intended for the Shia militant group are not smuggled  ashore.

    France, Italy and Greece have all said they will

     contribute ships to the force, whose task will be to monitor Lebanese coastal waters until the German navy formally takes over - probably in two or three weeks.

    German forces are expected to lead the international naval patrols that will also involve British and Turkish ships and aircraft.

    Disputed lands

    Israel has said that it is prepared to discuss the status of the disputed Shebaa Farms district, on the condition that the UN verify that the disputed land belongs to Lebanon and not Syria.

    Another condition was that Beirut fulfill its obligations under UN Resolutions 1701 and 1559, including disarming Hezbollah.
    .

    "We would agree to discuss the issue," Olmert's office quoted  him as telling Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, who is in Israel along with his German and Italian counterparts ahead of a visit by Tony Blair, the British prime minister.

    The Shebaa Farms is a small plot of land covering about 20  sq. kms (eight square miles) on the border of Israel,  Lebanon and Syria.


    It was captured by Israel as part of the Golan Heights, seized  from Syria, during the 1967 war, but is now claimed by Lebanon with  Syrian approval.

    The resolution halted 34 days of combat between Israel and  Hezbollah that killed more than 1,200 people in Lebanon and 160  Israelis, although the Jewish state has still to withdraw its last troops from Lebanese territory.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Meet the deported nurse aiding asylum seekers at US-Mexico border

    Meet the deported nurse helping refugees at the border

    Francisco 'Panchito' Olachea drives a beat-up ambulance around Nogales, taking care of those trying to get to the US.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.