Intense International Pressure to Spare Lebanon from Expanded War

US Envoy Amos Hochstein meets with parliament Speaker Nabih Berri during a visit to Beirut. (AFP)
US Envoy Amos Hochstein meets with parliament Speaker Nabih Berri during a visit to Beirut. (AFP)
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Intense International Pressure to Spare Lebanon from Expanded War

US Envoy Amos Hochstein meets with parliament Speaker Nabih Berri during a visit to Beirut. (AFP)
US Envoy Amos Hochstein meets with parliament Speaker Nabih Berri during a visit to Beirut. (AFP)

Fears of an expanded war between Hezbollah and Israel have mounted following the regional escalation and the Israeli army’s announcement of its readiness to move from defense to attack on the northern front with Lebanon.

US Envoy Amos Hochstein did not return to Beirut following his visit last month amid reports that he is linking any new trip to reaching a truce in Gaza that would facilitate a Lebanese-Israeli understanding on restoring stability to the Lebanese south and the Israeli north.

Government circles have dismissed claims of a decline in international interest in the situation in Lebanon, pointing to continued communication with the government.

“We cannot talk about assurances that the situation will not deteriorate, but rather about international pressure that has reached its peak on Israel not to expand the war,” the sources said.

Member of Lebanon's Coalition for Change parliamentary bloc MP Marc Daou, who recently met with international delegates and foreign ambassadors, told Asharq Al-Awsat: “What we always hear is that the opportunities for calm are diminishing, so is the hope of avoiding escalation.”

“The Lebanese state can avoid the spillover of the war if the prime minister and the minister of foreign affairs announce a clear position on rejecting military actions in Lebanon, as well as from Lebanon, which expose our homeland to danger,” he said.

“However, they are unable to do so as they are hostage to sectarian disputes and the government’s lack of any vision to save the country.”

The Director of the Middle East Institute for Strategic Affairs, Dr. Sami Nader, noted that the decline of the international movement towards Lebanon was due to the regional escalation that followed the targeting of the Iranian consulate in Damascus on April 1.

“The confrontation has become direct between Israel and Iran, and it may expand further. Therefore, the file of neutralizing Lebanon, despite its importance, has become part of the larger file, and the larger open conflict,” he stated.



Gaza Health Ministry: 70 Palestinians Killed by Israeli Fire in Khan Younis

Smoke rises following Israeli bombardments in Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, Monday, July 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Abdel Kareem Hana)
Smoke rises following Israeli bombardments in Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, Monday, July 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Abdel Kareem Hana)
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Gaza Health Ministry: 70 Palestinians Killed by Israeli Fire in Khan Younis

Smoke rises following Israeli bombardments in Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, Monday, July 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Abdel Kareem Hana)
Smoke rises following Israeli bombardments in Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, Monday, July 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Abdel Kareem Hana)

Seventy Palestinians were killed and more than 200 wounded by Israeli fire on the city of Khan Younis in southern Gaza, Gaza's Health Ministry said on Monday.

It said some of the wounded were in a "dangerous condition.”

Another strike hit outside Al-Aqsa Hospital in the central town of Deir-Al-Balah, where many people were living in tents on the street, killing one person and wounding three.

The attacks came as the Israeli military ordered the evacuation of part of a crowded area in the Gaza Strip it had designated a humanitarian zone, saying it is planning an operation against Hamas militants there. The order triggered a new flight of Palestinians, many of whom had taken refuge there just in the past weeks.

The Health Ministry said the toll from Israel’s nine-month war against Hamas in Gaza has surpassed 39,000 Palestinians killed and 89,800 wounded.