Spread the love

US warns Israel against war against Hezbollah

The United States warned Israel on Tuesday that a war with Lebanon's Hezbollah could spark a regional conflict, following an escalation of cross-border firefights and bellicose rhetoric between the protagonists in recent last weeks.

On Israel's southern front, in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli army continued its bombings on the Palestinian territory devastated by nearly nine months of war, with UN agencies expressing concern over the major humanitarian crisis with half a million Palestinians suffering from “catastrophic” hunger.

US warns Israel against war against Hezbollah

A photo taken from northern Israel shows a cloud of smoke rising after an Israeli bombardment of southern Lebanon, June 25, 2024 © AFP – JACK GUEZ

The war in Gaza, triggered by an unprecedented Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, has led to daily violence on the Israeli-Lebanese border, between Hezbollah, an ally of the Palestinian Islamist movement, and the Israeli army.

“A war between Israel and Hezbollah could easily become a regional war, with disastrous consequences for the Middle East,” the minister warned of Defense, Lloyd Austin, receiving his Israeli counterpart Yoav Gallant at the Pentagon.

“Diplomacy is by far the best way to avoid further escalation”, he added.

US warns Israel against war against Hezbollah

Southern Lebanon and Northern Israel © AFP – Nalini LEPETIT-CHELLA, Paz PIZARRO

Mr. Gallant said that “we are working closely to reach an agreement, but we must also prepare for all possible scenarios.”

Visiting Beirut, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock warned that a “miscalculation” could provoke a full-scale war between Hezbollah and Israel at any time.

< p>– “Redeploy forces to the north” –

US warns Israel against war against Hezbollah

Destructions in Khan Younes, in the south of the Gaza Strip, June 23, 2024 © AFP – Eyad BABA

On Tuesday, Hezbollah claimed three attacks on military positions in northern Israel, in retaliation for an Israeli raid Monday on its positions in the Bekaa in eastern Lebanon.

< p>Last week, the leader of the Lebanese movement that exercises major influence in Lebanon, Hassan Nasrallah, warned that “no place” in Israel would be spared from his movement's missiles, after the Israeli army announced that “operational plans for an offensive in Lebanon” had been “validated”.

On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that the “intense” phase fighting was coming to an end in the Gaza Strip, saying that then Israel could “redeploy some forces to the north”, to the border with Lebanon, “for defensive purposes”.

Hezbollah opened the front with Israel in support of Hamas the day after the Palestinian movement's attack on October 7 in southern Israel, which resulted in the deaths of 1,195 people, mostly civilians, according to a count by the AFP established from official Israeli data.

Of 251 people kidnapped during the attack, 116 are still being held in Gaza, of whom 42 are dead, according to the army.

Israel has vowed to destroy Hamas and launched a major offensive against Gaza which has so far left 37,658 dead, mostly civilians, according to data from the Ministry of Health of the Hamas-led Gaza government.

– 10 relatives of Hamas leader killed –

US warns Israel against war against Hezbollah

A mother mourns the death of her child killed in an Israeli bombing on al-Maghazi in central Gaza, and whose body wrapped in a white blanket was transferred to the morgue of the Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir el-Balah, June 25, 2024 © AFP – Bashar TALEB

By announcing that the “intense” phase of the fighting was coming to an end in Gaza, Benjamin Netanyahu made particular reference to the town of Rafah (south) where the army launched a ground offensive on May 7.

He repeated that the “objective” was “to recover the hostages” and to “uproot the Hamas regime”, in place since 2007 in Gaza and considered terrorist by the United States , the European Union and Israel.

On Tuesday, Hamas announced that the sister of Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh, as well as nine other members of her family, had been killed in an Israeli strike on the Shati refugee camp in Gaza City (north). The military has not confirmed.

US warns Israel against war against Hezbollah

“If the criminal enemy thinks that targeting my family will make us change our position and affect our resistance then he is deluding himself”, reacted Mr. Haniyeh, who lives in exile in Qatar.

According to witnesses, an Israeli strike also left five people dead, including two children, near al-Chifa hospital in Gaza City.

– “They lose one or two legs” –

In the 9th month of the war, the Israeli army maintains the siege of some 2.4 million inhabitants in the small Palestinian territory, where there is a “high and sustained risk” of famine according to a report of the Integrated Classification Framework of the food security (IPC), on which UN agencies base themselves.

US warns Israel against war against Hezbollah

Palestinians including children gather around a truck loaded with water tanks to fill their cans in Rafah, in the south of the Gaza Strip, June 25, 2024 © AFP – Eyad BABA

The report said that 495,000 people were still suffering from “catastrophic” hunger in the Gaza Strip, while noting a slight improvement in the humanitarian situation in the north of the territory.

According to the head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) Philippe Lazzarini, “basically, every day we have 10 children who lose a or two legs on average (in Gaza). Ten per day means around 2,000 children after more than 260 days of this brutal war.”

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116