Qatar breaks air blockade on Lebanon, vows to send troops
A Qatar Airways plane landed at Beirut airport on Monday carrying 142 passengers aboard, despite Israel's blockade on Lebanon.
The landing came on the same day that Qatar became the first Arab country to commit soldiers to monitor a cease-fire between Israel and Hizbullah, pledging 200 to 300 troops to a U.N. peacekeeping force.
According to the AP, the Airbus 320 landed at Rafik Hariri International Airport in the first of what the national carrier of Qatar said would be daily flights from Doha to Beirut. Qatar Airways said it had received approval from Lebanese authorities to operate the flights.
Israel has so far refused to lift its air and sea blockade of Lebanon.
Earlier, Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani said the contribution of troops was an attempt "to tell the world of the Arab presence, even modestly, in this force and to tell Israel that we believe in this decision and so we want to contribute in implementing it."
The pledge came after Sheikh Hamad held talks with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan in Doha.