Only Gaza Ceasefire Will End Lebanon Border Hostilities - Hizbollah


(MENAFN- Jordan Times) BEIRUT - Hizbollah's chief said on Tuesday ending the Gaza war was key to halting hostilities on the Lebanon frontier, and accused foreign efforts to end the cross-border violence of serving Israeli interests.

"When the attack on Gaza stops and there is a ceasefire, the fire will also stop in the south" of Lebanon, Hassan Nasrallah said in a televised address, but warned: "If they [Israel] broaden the confrontation, we will do the same."

Hizbollah fighters have traded near-daily fire with Israel since the war broke out on October 7 between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Fears have been growing of another full-blown conflict between Israel and Hizbollah, with tens of thousands displaced on both sides of the border and regional tensions soaring.

Late last month, Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said Israeli troops would "very soon go into action" near the country's northern border with Lebanon.

Recent weeks have seen a flurry of diplomatic activity in Beirut, with foreign ministers including from Germany, France and Britain visiting in efforts to dial down tensions.

"All the delegations that have come to Lebanon over the past four months... have only one goal: the security of Israel, protecting Israel" and returning displaced north Israeli residents to their homes, Nasrallah said.

French Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne said on Monday he had put forward "proposals" during a recent visit to Lebanon.

Several diplomatic sources, requesting anonymity, told AFP the French plan involved Hizbollah fighters withdrawing to 10-12 kilometres from the border.

"Let nobody think Lebanon is weak and afraid, or that they can impose conditions" including over the withdrawal of Hizbollah fighters, Nasrallah said.

He warned that if Israel decided to wage war on Lebanon, those displaced from northern Israel“will not return” and Israeli officials should“prepare shelters, hotels, schools and tents for 2 million people” who would be displaced.

Last week, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz warned that“time is running out” to reach a diplomatic solution in south Lebanon.

“Israel will act militarily to return the evacuated citizens” to its northern border area if no diplomatic solution is reached, he said.

The cross-border violence since the start of the Hamas-Israel war has killed at least 243 people on the Lebanese side, most of them Hizbollah fighters but also including 30 civilians, according to an AFP tally.

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