Lebanon’s ports lie dormant, waiting for Israel to lift its naval blockade. That is expected to happen within days if Lebanon’s prime minister gets his way. Although Israel says it is waiting until a sufficient UN naval force is in place, the Lebanese have asked the UN to help persuade Israel to act sooner.
Earlier, flights began again into Beirut airport. The first plane to land was a Lebanese civilian airliner flying directly from Paris. Lebanon’s government estimates the country has been losing around 35 million euros a day in trade because of the air and sea blockades.
Germany’s Foreign Minister, Frank Walter- Steinmeier who is visiting the country, confirmed his country’s commitment to providing several warships to patrol the Lebanese coast. Media reports in Israel claim that the pull-out of Israeli troops should be complete by September 22. But support for the withdrawal and the lifting of the embargoes are not wholly supported back home, with many fearing that Hizbollah could smuggle weapons into the country and re-arm.