Tue. Jul 23rd, 2024

US and Europe warn Hezbollah to ease attacks on Israel

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Jul1,2024

The US and Europe warn Hezbollah about the need to ease attacks on Israel

Photo: Interception of missiles launched from Lebanon to Israel. June 27, 2024/REUTERS/Ayal Margolin

Hopes for a quick ceasefire in Israel's conflict with Hamas in the Gaza Strip, which could moderate Hezbollah's attacks and other paramilitary groups associated with Iran are not justified. In this regard, American and European officials are warning Hezbollah – which is much more powerful than Hamas, but, according to current and former diplomats, is too self-confident – that it should not confront Israel's military might.

The French, who are historically closely associated with Lebanon, other Europeans, as well as the Qataris and Egyptians, are actively acting as mediators.

They warn that the group should not rely on the United States or anyone else to deter Israeli leaders if they decide to pursue military plans for an offensive in Lebanon. And Hezbollah should not rely on the ability of its fighters to cope with what happens next, reports  Associated Press agency.

On both sides of the Lebanese border, attacks between Israel and Hezbollah are escalating. – one of the most well-armed fighting forces in the region – last week seemed to be on the decline. Although daily strikes continue to hit border areas, this small change offers hope for an easing of tensions. The US sent an amphibious assault ship with a detachment of Marines to join other warships in the area and try to prevent a wider conflict.

According to Gerald Firestein, a former senior US diplomat in the Middle East, it is unclear whether Israel or Hezbollah decided to reduce the number of attacks so as not to provoke an Israeli invasion of Lebanon. Even though the fighting stopped last week, "it seems that the Israelis are still…preparing for some kind of conflict…on a completely different scale."– he said.

According to him, the Israelis' message to Hezbollah is this: "Don't think you are as capable as you think you are.

UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths used the word "apocalyptic" to describe a war that might happen. Direct military conflict between Israel and Hezbollah – dominant force in politically fragmented Lebanon – could lead to heavy casualties on both sides.

The Israeli army is exhausted by the nearly nine-month war in Gaza, and Hezbollah has an arsenal of approximately 150,000 missiles, including those capable of striking anywhere in Israel. Israeli leaders, meanwhile, have vowed to devastate Lebanon, just as they did in Gaza.

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 natasha@thetimeshub.in 1-800-268-7116

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