‘Time’s running out’ Israel warns Hezbollah to move back 20 miles from Lebanon border; Israel prepared to open another War front


Important Takeaways:

  • Israel’s foreign minister warned time’s running short to find a diplomatic solution to the presence of Hezbollah fighters along the country’s northern border with Lebanon.
  • Hezbollah, a Shiite militant group backed by Iran, and Israeli forces have exchanged fire almost daily since the Israel-Hamas war erupted on Oct. 7. While those skirmishes have killed scores of people and forced almost 100,000 Israelis and thousands of Lebanese to evacuate their homes, neither side has escalated its operations.
  • Israel has said, though, that it’s prepared to open another front with a military attack on southern Lebanon if Hezbollah doesn’t move back to about 20 miles (32 kilometers) from the border, as per the terms of a long-standing United Nations resolution.
  • Hezbollah has expressed solidarity with Hamas and fired missiles, mortars and rockets into Israel. The Israeli military has responded with artillery fire and also assassinated senior Hezbollah figures.
  • Hezbollah is the most powerful militia in the Middle East. It has an arsenal of more than 100,000 rockets and missiles, according to Israeli intelligence estimates, far bigger than what Hamas could muster before Oct. 7.

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Is Israel preparing for escalation with Hezbollah? ‘Preparing for desert island scenario’


Important Takeaways:

  • Israeli hospitals near Lebanon border preparing for ‘desert island’ scenarios
  • A massive attack by Hezbollah could leave the medical centers for days without access to equipment, medicine or food, as well as staff in the reserves
  • The Israeli Health Ministry ordered hospitals in the north to be ready to receive thousands of wounded, under extraneous conditions, as fighting intensifies on Israel’s border with Lebanon, according to a report by Kan.
  • The Ziv Hospital in Safed and the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya started preparing for what has been described as a “desert island” situation, meaning days without equipment, medicines or food in the event of a massive Hezbollah attack.
  • The hospitals in Safed and Nahariya have also been instructed to prepare for the transfer of patients to other medical centers. Furthermore, the Health Ministry advised an increased vigilance and preparedness in all hospital systems and health insurance funds across the country.

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IDF calls on Lebanon to confront Hezbollah, says “time is running out”

Israel War

Important Takeaways:

  • Day 84, 1,400+ Israel’s Killed, 129 Hostages still being held
  • Israeli Official Warns Time Running Out For Lebanon To Stop Hezbollah, Raising Fears Of 2nd War Front
  • “The hourglass for a political settlement is running out,” Gantz told reporters.
  • “If the world and Lebanon’s government will not work to stop the shooting at Israel and to distance Hezbollah from the border, the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) will do so.”
  • Hezbollah, a heavily militarized terrorist organization, holds a strong grip over southern Lebanon and began firing rockets into Israel a day after Hamas’ deadly October 7 attack.
  • At least 11 Israelis, including four civilians, have been killed by the strikes.
  • Around 150 Lebanese — mostly Hezbollah terrorists and 17 civilians — have been killed by Israeli counterstrikes. Thousands of civilians have been displaced on both sides of the border.
  • Gantz’s warning came after Hezbollah launched its most expansive assault yet on Wednesday, firing more rockets and drones at Israel than in any other single day since the assaults began.

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Hezbollah leader says his forces will not stop fighting and are sending new weapons to the battlefield


Important Takeaways:

  • Hezbollah says it is introducing new weapons in ongoing battles with Israeli troops
  • The leader of Lebanon’s militant Hezbollah group said Saturday his fighters have introduced new weapons, including a missile with a heavy warhead in the ongoing fighting along the Lebanon-Israel border, adding that they will keep using the tense frontier to pressure Israel.
  • Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah also blasted the United States over the Israel-Hamas war, saying it is the only country that can stop Israel’s wide offensive on the Gaza Strip but doesn’t do so. He said attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria, that Washington says have reached more than 40 rockets and suicide drone attacks, will continue until the war in Gaza comes to an end.
  • Nasrallah’s comments came as the situation along Lebanon’s southern border continues to escalate. Hezbollah on Friday attacked northern Israel with three suicide drones after an Israeli strike in central Syria killed seven Hezbollah fighters.
  • Hezbollah officials say that by attacking Israeli posts along the border, the Iran-backed group is keeping three Israeli army divisions busy at a time when Israeli troops are pushing into the Gaza Strip where more than 11,000 people have been killed over the past five weeks, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry.

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Northern Israelis entering bomb shelters as drones approach from Lebanon


Important Takeaways:

  • Mass Drone Attack Reported from Lebanon; Northern Israel in Shelters
  • Israelis in the northern part of the country, near the border with Lebanon, have been warned to descend into bomb shelters as sirens have been sounding warnings indicating a large attack of drones.
  • The Times of Israel reported, citing Israel’s Channel 12, that “some 15-20 drones were identified flying into the country from Lebanon.
  • Israel’s Army Radio reports that rockets have landed near the northern coastal city of Haifa, and that there has been a suspected terrorist infiltration.
  • It also advised residents in the region to stay in their homes, to take shelter in reinforced “safe rooms,” and to keep their doors and windows locked.
  • There have already been small but deadly clashes along the border this week, with Iranian-controlled Hezbollah threatening to open a second front…
  • Iran is known to have a sophisticated drone program that has been deployed on the Russian side in the war against Ukraine.

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Lebanon declares Bankruptcy. Could this be a fulfillment of Ezekiel 26:5?

Rev 6:6 NAS And I heard something like a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not damage the oil and the wine.”

Important Takeaways:

  • Lebanon’s Deputy Prime Minister, Saadeh al-Shami made an official announcement on Monday declaring that Lebanon is bankrupt.
  • “Unfortunately, the state is bankrupt, as is the Banque du Liban. Our Government wanted to come up with a solution, and the loss occurred due to policies for decades, but if we did nothing, the loss would be much greater.”
  • “This is a fact that cannot be ignored, and we cannot live in a state of denial, and we cannot open (bank) withdrawals to everyone. I wish that our situation was normal.”
  • In chapter 26 in the Book of Ezekiel, the prophet foresees that Lebanon will become a place of “drying nets” and a “spoil for the nations.” The chapter speaks of Tyre, which was the Phonecian capital of Lebanon at that time.
  • She shall be in the heart of the sea A place for drying nets; For I have spoken it —declares Hashem. She shall become spoil for the nations (Ezekiel 26:5)
  • The prophecy about Lebanon becoming a ‘spoil for the nations’ seems to have merit today. That’s because, following the infamous Beirut blast of 2020, China has targeted the northern port of Tripoli as a critical link for Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Lebanon has also been reported to be a Chinese business target.
  • This might also be referenced in the 12th passage:
  • They shall plunder your wealth And loot your merchandise. (Ezekiel 26:12)

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Iran is supplying proxies in Syria, Iraq also stockpiling ballistic missiles

Revelations 6:3-4 “ when he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4 And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.

Important Takeaways:

  • Iran has 3,000 ballistic missiles, many that can reach Israel – US general
  • In Gen. Kenneth McKenzie’s written statement, he called Iran’s missile force the greatest threat to the region’s security.
  • “At a military level my concern is first of all that they do not have a nuclear weapon but I am also very concerned about the remarkable growth and efficiency of their ballistic missile program,” McKenzie told the Senate Armed Services Committee.
  • “They have over 3,000 missiles of various types, some of which can reach Tel Aviv,” McKenzie said in response to a query by the senate committee. “None of them can reach Europe yet.”
  • US CENTCOM assessed…Syria and Iraq will continue to be used as supply routes and hubs to forward its “campaign against Israel.”
  • This is in part to arm its proxy in Lebanon, Hezbollah. It was estimated last year that Hezbollah has 130,000-150,000 rockets that can reach deep into Israeli territory. This arms stockpile also includes Iranian ballistic missiles.
  • He said that the US remains steadfast in its commitment to Israel’s security and to support Israel’s right to defend itself

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Lebanese carry ‘worthless’ stacks of cash after currency crash

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Restaurant owner Antoine Haddad has been in business for over 35 years but says he is running out of hope as Lebanon struggles with one of the deepest financial crises of modern times.

The Lebanese pound lost around 90% of its value in the past two years, propelling three quarters of the population into poverty.

For Haddad, the difference between this and other crises that Lebanon has experienced, including the 1975-1990 civil war, is that it feels like there is no end in sight.

“Previously, you had hope that: ‘tomorrow the war will end, we do this and that and go back to where we were’, but this time there is no hope,” he said.

“They (those in power) promised us we would have plenty of money in our hands, and we indeed have a lot of it to play with,” he said sarcastically referring to the growing stacks of banknotes needed for even basic purchases after the currency drop.

Haddad, whose small restaurant has been in business since 1984, said he can only buy 10% of the olive oil he used to buy with the same money.

The government, facing an election in March as it tries to secure an IMF recovery plan, has tripled transport allowance for employees to alleviate some of the pain but most salaries, including the minimum wage, have not been adjusted.

Pub-owner Moussa Yaakoub is also taken aback by the amount of cash he needs to run his business.

“I have never before held in my hands this amount of money,” he said as he counted some 10 million pounds, worth $6,600 at the pre-crisis rate but now less than $500 at the market rate.

That much money used to cover a pub’s operation for months, but now only pays a couple of bills, he said.

Grocery store owner Roni Bou Rached has changed the way he stores money in his cash drawer now that smaller notes are used less, and coins are almost non-existent.

“I am hesitant how much to carry in my pocket when I leave. I sometimes carry 1 million or 1.5 million … but I mean, they are worthless,” he said.

A single restaurant bill now could amount to sums higher than some workers’ earnings.

“God help those who do not have an income or are not able to work around things,” Ali Jaber, a private sector employee, said.

(Reporting by Issam Abdallah; Writing by Yara Abi Nader; Editing by Alison Williams)

Lebanese PM says he signs bill lifting immunity in Beirut blast case -Sky News Arabia

Cairo (Reuters) -Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati said in a Sky News Arabia interview on Wednesday he had signed a bill that lifts immunity on “everyone” who might have borne responsibility for the Beirut port blast, saying they must be held accountable.

The disastrous Aug. 4, 2020 explosion left more than 200 people dead and devastated swathes of the Lebanese capital.

Mikati added in the interview that Lebanon’s constitution stipulated that senior government officials must be tried in front of a special tribunal.

The investigation into the explosion, one of the biggest non-nuclear blasts in history, has made little headway amid a smear campaign against investigation Judge Tarek Bitar and pushback from powerful Lebanese factions.

He said the government will extend help to the families of the blast’s victims, adding that a plan has been formulated to reconstruct the port, a vital lifeline to the country’s economy.

Many in Lebanon, particularly families of the victims of the blast, are furious that no senior official has been held accountable more than a year later.

Bitar’s efforts to question former and serving state officials – including the prime minister at the time of the blast, ex-ministers and senior security officials on suspicion of negligence – have been repeatedly denied.

(Reporting by Lilian Wagdy; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

Lebanon in free fall, must not become ‘horror story,’ U.S. senator warns

By Maha El Dahan

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Lebanon is in free fall and must not become a “horror story,” a U.S. senator said during a visit to Beirut on Wednesday, voicing hope that a government would be formed this week to start addressing its destabilizing financial meltdown.

The comment reflected growing concern about the situation in Lebanon, where a financial collapse that began in 2019 hit a crunch point last month with a crippling fuel shortage that sparked security incidents and warnings of worse to come.

Another senator in the U.S. congressional delegation said Iranian fuel being shipped to Lebanon by the heavily armed Shi’ite group Hezbollah would come with strings attached, dismissing it as an attempted “photo-op by the Iranians.”

The financial crisis marks the biggest threat to Lebanon’s stability since the 1975-90 civil war.

More than half of Lebanon’s 6 million people have fallen into poverty. The World Bank says it is one of the sharpest depressions of modern times, with the currency plunging more than 90% and the financial system paralyzed.

“Lebanon is in free fall…We’ve seen this movie before and it’s a horror story…, but the good news is it can, should, and hopefully will be avoided,” Senator Richard Blumenthal told reporters at the end of a two-day visit.

Lebanese politicians, who have failed to do anything to arrest the collapse, have been squabbling for more than a year over the make-up of a new cabinet to replace the one that quit in the aftermath of the Aug. 4, 2020 Beirut port explosion.

A new cabinet capable of implementing reforms is a necessary precursor to foreign aid. The United States is the biggest foreign aid donor to Lebanon.

The congressional delegation met Lebanese leaders including President Michel Aoun, the Maronite Christian head of state, who expressed hope the government would be formed this week, the presidency said in a statement.

Aoun, a Hezbollah ally, has on several occasions expressed optimism about the government being agreed soon.

“We did hear good news today,” Senator Chris Murphy, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee panel dealing with the Middle East, told reporters, adding he expected a government would be formed by the time he returned home.

Aoun’s adversaries accuse him and his faction, the Free Patriotic Movement, of obstructing the government formation by demanding a third of the seats, or effective veto power.

Aoun denies this. Aoun told the senators “many obstacles had been overcome,” the presidency said.


With the state floundering, Hezbollah, long part of the ruling system, last month announced it was importing fuel oil from Iran, saying it aims to ease the crisis. Its adversaries have said this further undermined the authority of the state and exposed Lebanon to the risk of U.S. sanctions.

Washington designates Hezbollah as a terrorist group.

Lebanon’s caretaker energy minister said on Wednesday that an import permit had not been requested for the fuel shipment.

The United States has been in talks with Egypt and Jordan over a plan to ease Lebanon’s power crisis. The Lebanese presidency has said it involves using Egyptian gas to generate power in Jordan that would be transmitted via Syria, which is under U.S. sanctions including the so-called Caesar act.

“The complication as you know is the transport via Syria,” said Senator Chris Van Hollen. “We are (urgently) looking for ways to address that despite the Caesar act.”

(Writing by Tom Perry; Editing by Mark Heinrich)