US, Arab countries working to de-escalate Lebanon-Israel tensions

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US officials have been in contact with Arab leaders in a bid to reduce tensions after a barrage of rockets were fired from Lebanon at Israel earlier on Thursday.

Israel has reported identifying 34 rockets fired from Lebanon, with 25 of them intercepted, marking the largest escalation along the frontier since the 2006 war between Israel and Lebanon.

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The rocket attacks came shortly after Israeli police clashed with Palestinians inside Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa Mosque.

Al Arabiya English understands that US officials have spoken to officials from Egypt and Jordan, and are working on facilitating more calls with other countries. They are also seeking to engage with Israeli officials ahead of an expected security cabinet meeting in Jerusalem.

The US is hoping for a surgical response from Israel, one that does not escalate the situation further. Washington is also concerned about the safety of US interests and personnel in the region during any Israeli response, and is working to ensure that the situation remains calm.

Security sources anticipate Israel to respond soon. The US remains concerned about Lebanon potentially becoming a launchpad for attacks against Israel.

The Lebanese government, army, and the UN peacekeeping corps in Lebanon are also anticipating an Israeli response.

The US ambassador to Israel, Tom Nides, has been in touch with Israeli officials, but no high-level calls have taken place yet between Washington and Israel.

Read more:

US says Israel has ‘right to defend itself’ after Lebanon rockets

UNIFIL urges restraint after Israel intercepts rockets fired from southern Lebanon

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