Lebanon army to get aid from Russia
PM Hariri makes announcement just a few days after two key Congress members release their holds on $100 million in US military assistance.
The announcement from Saad Hariri's office followed his talks in Moscow with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
It comes a few days after two key members of the US Congress released their holds on $100 million in US military aid to the Lebanese army.
Hariri says the Russian aid includes six Mi-24 helicopters, 31 T-72 battle tanks, 130 mm caliber cannon shells and about half a million different munitions.
It is interesting that this becomes public just as the world waits to see if there will be a Hezbollah uprising in the coming weeks - an uprising that could give Hezbollah control of Lebanon, as rumored.
In other news coming from the region:
Likud ministers sign anti-freeze letter
It may be more difficult for PM Netanyahu to agree to extend the building freeze than originally anticipated:
A number of Likud ministers signed a letter from the Yesha Council to Netanyahu Wednesday, asking him not to renew the construction freeze in West Bank settlements.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister's Office released a statement denying reports that Israel was sparring with the US over the inclusion of east Jerusalem in the moratorium.
Fourteen Knesset members from the Likud also signed the letter, which says that the signatories "express their objection to a construction freeze in Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria"
The following quote from PM Netanyahu was interesting:
On Tuesday officials said Netanyahu demanded guarantees from the US, which would reflect an agreement on continued construction in east Jerusalem despite an additional freeze.
So far, Netanyahu has rejected a draft of a freeze proposal by the US, demanding written clarifications on the issues at hand.
Last week US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton offered Netanyahu a slew of perks in exchange for the freeze, among them 20 F-35 jets worth $3 billion, a veto on a unilateral declaration of statehood by the Palestinians, and a vow that the freeze would not include Jerusalem.
The following article elaborates (is it me, or does this look like a lack of trust between Israel and the U.S.?):
Israel demands written US guarantees before freeze
Official says Netanyahu will not present Cabinet with American proposal for renewal of settlement construction moratorium until he receives written security guarantees. Officials: Tension over US refusal to promise not to demand another freeze
Israel has demanded the United States provide written security guarantees before it votes on whether to agree to freeze Jewish settlement building in the West Bank, an Israeli political source said Tuesday.
The official said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will present the offer to his Cabinet only upon receiving written guarantees which "reflect the understandings reached during his talks with Hillary Clinton in New York."
Government officials who are familiar with the issue told Ynet that Netanyahu's demand for written guarantees has resulted in some tension with the Americans.
So why not just have a written agreement? Whats the problem?
The Americans, one official said, wanted to water down the agreement due to Palestinian opposition to a US commitment that it would not demand another freeze.
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat stressed that his men had yet to receive the details of the deal from the Americans, implying that Israel was trying to cause the PA to respond to the understanding through the media, before an official agreement had been reached.
Erekat stressed, however, that the Palestinians had no plans to compromise on any of their demands.
Peace, as far as we are concerned, does not include giving up on any rights. It will be based on the establishment of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders – in addition to the return of refugees and the release of all prisoners. Israel must think twice before it builds a strategy supporting leaving the situation as is. We won't take part in such a move."
So Israel is being asked to begin a second building freeze in recent months, give up more land, return back to the '67 borders, allow a massive return of very ill-defined "refugees", which would essentially make Jews a minority in the country, and also release all prisoners. Meanwhile, the PA has no concessions and will not budge from that position.
And we wonder why a peace deal cannot be confirmed.
It will eventually happen - but that job is reserved for the antichrist. When it becomes his time to step onto the world stage, the nations will finally have their covenant. One has to wonder what that well-known biblical figure is doing at this very moment.