HomeGlobal Defence UpdatesUS wants to avoid greater war along Lebanon-Israel border: Special envoy to...

US wants to avoid greater war along Lebanon-Israel border: Special envoy to Joe Biden

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BEIRUT: The United States is trying to avert a greater war between Israel and Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement, US envoy Amos Hochstein said on Tuesday, following an escalation in cross-border fire between the foes along Lebanon’s southern frontier.

Iran-backed Hezbollah has been trading fire with Israel for the last eight months in parallel with the Gaza war. Last week, the group fired the largest volleys of rockets and drones of the hostilities so far at Israeli military sites, after an Israeli strike killed the most senior commander yet.

Hochstein, special envoy to US President Joe Biden, said he had been dispatched to Lebanon immediately following a brief trip to Israel because the situation was serious. “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,” Hochstein said on Tuesday.

He had met with the head of Lebanon’s army earlier on Tuesday morning and spoke to reporters following a meeting with parliament speaker Nabih Berri, who heads the armed Amal movement, which is allied to Hezbollah and has also fired rockets on Israel in recent months.

The US and France are engaged in diplomatic efforts to secure a negotiated end to the hostilities along Lebanon’s border. Hezbollah says it will not halt its attacks unless there is a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

Give me tools, will finish the job: Bibi
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the US must keep supplying weapons for its war against Hamas, accusing Biden of withholding arms as the country is “fighting for its life.”

In an English-language video statement, Netanyahu said he told US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken during his visit to Israel last week that he appreciates Washington’s support but that it’s “inconceivable” any weapons or ammunition have been withheld in the past few months.

“During World War II, Churchill told the US: give us the tools, we’ll do the job,” Netanyahu said. “And I say, give us the tools and we’ll finish the job a lot faster.”

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