US to Intensify Efforts to Calm Tensions Between Israel and Hezbollah
The US website Axios said the US will intensify efforts to calm the growing tensions between Israel and the Lebanese Hezbollah and prevent an outbreak of fighting on the border.
And the site reported that any small border incident between Israel and Hezbollah would quickly turn into a much larger conflict in Lebanon and likely have broader regional repercussions.
Axios Explains Escalation of Tensions
Axios explained that Tensions between Israel and Hezbollah have escalated for months over a tent set up by Hezbollah north of the Blue Line between Israel and Lebanon.
That, and the same source, citing US and Israeli sources, confirmed that President Biden’s top energy and infrastructure adviser, Amos Hochstein, would arrive in Beirut on Wednesday for talks with senior Lebanese officials.
A US source familiar with the situation said Amos Hochstein would work to de-escalate tensions at the border.
Israeli officials also said Brett McGurk, Biden’s top Middle East adviser, and Barbara Leaf, the State Department’s top diplomat for the Middle East, met with Israeli Defense Secretary Yoav Gallant in New York Tuesday and discussed tensions along the Israeli-Lebanese border.
US Pressure on Lebanese Government
Axios said the United States has been pressuring the Lebanese government and army for months to take steps to dismantle the Hezbollah facility, and part of the tent has since been removed, but tensions remain high as both sides exchange public threats, especially on last week.
In addition, Gallant said in a statement that he met with United Nations Secretary General António Guterres in New York on Monday and stressed the urgent need for immediate United Nations intervention to ease tensions by strengthening the authority of United Nations peacekeepers in the region, ensuring their freedom of movement and the performance of their tasks.
Gallant added that Israel will not tolerate the growing security threats to its citizens and will act as necessary to protect them.
For his part, Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah stressed on Monday that any Israeli military action in Lebanon, including assassinations of Lebanese, Palestinian, Iranian or other officials, would prompt the party to respond.
Source: American site Axios.