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Austin warned Gallant about the danger of Israel's conflict with Hezbollah

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Jun26,2024

Austin warned Gallant about the danger of a conflict between Israel and Hezbollah

Photo: Lloyd Austin and Yoav Gallant /REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin met with his Israeli counterpart Yoav Gallant at the Pentagon on Tuesday, June 25, warning him that the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah could provoke a regional war by calling on an ally for a diplomatic solution, reports Agence France-Presse.

More than eight months of war in Gaza have heightened tensions in the region. The IDF and the Iran-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah they fire at each other almost daily.

"Another war between Israel and “Hezbollah” could easily escalate into a regional war with dire consequences for the Middle Eastsaid Austin. Diplomacy is the best way to prevent further escalation..

Gallant, speaking before the meeting with Austin, said that “We are working closely to reach an agreement, but we also need to discuss preparedness for any possible scenario.”

The Israeli army said last week that plans for an offensive in Lebanon had been approved as clashes intensified in Israeli-Lebanese border, but Washington is keen to reduce tensions and wants to prevent another major conflict in the Middle East.

Gallant is visiting Washington, seeking to reaffirm the value of ties with Israel's main ally after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu publicly criticized the United States for what he called delays in arms deliveries.

The U.S. government insists only one shipment of bombs was held up over concerns about their use in populated areas and that other arms deliveries are proceeding as usual.

The United States is Israel's main arms supplier, but the growing death toll from the Gaza conflict is increasing pressure on President Joe Biden to take action. It has already heightened tensions between his administration and Netanyahu.

Gallant met with Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Washington the day before, and the top US diplomat also urged Israel to avoid escalation in Lebanon.

The Israeli minister also held talks with CIA chief Bill Burns, a key US negotiator in negotiations to free hostages taken by Hamas militants who carried out an unprecedented attack on Israel in October, sparking the devastating conflict in Gaza.

Netanyahu said Israeli forces are ending the most intense part of the war in Gaza and will be redeployed to the northern border, although he portrays this as a defensive move.

Israel and Hezbollah The last time they fought a full-scale war was in 2006, when an attack by Lebanese militants on a neighboring country led to 34 days of fighting, during which southern Lebanon suffered serious damage.

Prepared by: Sergei Daga

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar 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 1-800-268-7116

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