As Lebanese troops wait to move nearer the border, it has been revealed the Israeli air and sea blockade could be lifted within days. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said he hoped to have “positive news” on the bar to imports and exports in the next 48 hours. Armoured vehicles displaying both the Lebanese and, at times, yellow Hizbollah flags are near the town of Bint Jbeil. Annan will appoint a secret envoy to work on the release of the Israeli soldiers captured by the Shi’ite fighters. Meanwhile, Turkey’s parliament is expected to approve sending a contingent to Lebanon when parliament convenes this afternoon, despite widespread objections.
In defiance of the Israeli air blockade, Qatar Airways has flown around 140 passengers into Beirut. It says it will resume daily direct flights from Doha to the Lebanese capital. Businesses are becoming increasingly fed up with the blockade which, they say, hits the whole country, not just Hizbollah.