Israel Palestine Conflict

US envoy Hochstein says war at Lebanese-Israeli border would not be containable

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US Special Envoy Amos Hochstein said on Monday that a truce in Gaza would not necessarily bring an automatic end to hostilities across Lebanon’s southern border and he warned about the risks of an escalation of the conflict.

Hochstein is visiting Beirut as part of diplomatic efforts to end four months of exchanges of fire between Hezbollah and Israel taking place in parallel to the Gaza war.

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It has marked the worst conflict across Lebanon’s southern border since the 2006 war, fueling fears of a bigger confrontation.

“Escalation of violence is in no one’s interest, and there is no such thing as a limited war,” he told reporters after meeting Lebanon’s parliament speaker Nabih Berri, who is close to Hezbollah.

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Hochstein said friction on the border had increased in recent weeks.

“A temporary ceasefire is not enough. A limited war is not containable,” he said.

Lebanon deputy parliament speaker Elias Bou Saab told Reuters he believed the timing of Hochstein’s visit signaled progress in efforts over a Gaza truce.

Hezbollah has publicly indicated that it would halt its attacks on Israel from Lebanon when the Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip stops, unless Israel kept shelling Lebanon.

But Hochstein said a Gaza truce would not automatically trigger calm in southern Lebanon and said he was “hopeful” for a diplomatic solution to the conflict across that border.

“It does not necessarily happen that when you have a ceasefire in Gaza, it just automatically extends” to Lebanon, he said.

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