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US Aims To Prevent Israel-Hezbollah Conflict Escalation

The United States is striving to prevent a larger conflict between Israel and Hezbollah, as Hezbollah insists on Gaza ceasefire.

United States is working to prevent a larger conflict between Israel and Lebanon’s Hezbollah organisation after increased cross-border hostilities between the adversaries along Lebanon’s southern border, according to United States envoy, Amos Hochstein, on Tuesday.

For the past eight months, Iran-backed Hezbollah and Israel have been exchanging fire in conjunction with the war in Gaza.

 Recently, Hezbollah launched its heaviest barrages of rockets and drones at Israeli military positions after Israel’s strike killed their highest-ranking commander yet.

Hochstein, who serves as a special envoy to President Joe Biden, mentioned that he was sent to Lebanon right after a brief visit to Israel due to the gravity of the situation.

On Tuesday, Hochstein said, “We have seen an escalation over the last few weeks. And what President Biden wants to do is avoid a further escalation to a greater war.”

Earlier on Tuesday morning, he met with the head of Lebanon’s army and later spoke to reporters after a meeting with parliament speaker Nabih Berri, who leads the armed Amal movement. This movement is allied with Hezbollah and has also launched rockets at Israel in recent months.

Both the U.S. and France are making diplomatic efforts to achieve a negotiated end to the hostilities along Lebanon’s border. Hezbollah has stated it will not stop its attacks unless there is a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

On Tuesday, Hochstein urged Hamas to accept a U.S.-supported ceasefire proposal for Gaza, which he claimed “also provides an opportunity to end the conflict across the Blue Line,” referring to the disputed demarcation line between Lebanon and Israel.

Hochstein also met with caretaker Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati, who expressed that “Lebanon does not seek escalation,” according to a statement from Mikati’s office.

Following an increase in attacks last week, there was a brief pause during the Eid al-Adha Muslim holiday, which ends on Tuesday. On Tuesday afternoon, Hezbollah announced a drone attack on an Israeli tank, marking its first declared attack since Saturday.

Last week, the group deployed more of its extensive arsenal against Israel, leading United Nations officials in Lebanon to warn over the weekend that the “danger of miscalculation leading to a sudden and wider conflict is very real.”

U.N. human rights chief, Volker Turk, expressed concern about the escalation, calling “for a cessation of hostilities and for actors with influence to take all possible measures to avert a full-scale war.”

Nancy Mbamalu 

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