Israel’s Military Finalizes Plans for War against Hezbollah in Lebanon

A fire blazes on the Israeli side of the Israel-Lebanon border following attacks from Lebanon, amid cross-border hostilities between Hezbollah and Israeli forces, in northern Israel June 18, 2024. REUTERS/Ayal Margolin
A fire blazes on the Israeli side of the Israel-Lebanon border following attacks from Lebanon, amid cross-border hostilities between Hezbollah and Israeli forces, in northern Israel June 18, 2024. REUTERS/Ayal Margolin
TT

Israel’s Military Finalizes Plans for War against Hezbollah in Lebanon

A fire blazes on the Israeli side of the Israel-Lebanon border following attacks from Lebanon, amid cross-border hostilities between Hezbollah and Israeli forces, in northern Israel June 18, 2024. REUTERS/Ayal Margolin
A fire blazes on the Israeli side of the Israel-Lebanon border following attacks from Lebanon, amid cross-border hostilities between Hezbollah and Israeli forces, in northern Israel June 18, 2024. REUTERS/Ayal Margolin

Israel’s military said it has “approved and validated” operational plans for an offensive in Lebanon as months of fighting with Hezbollah threaten to spiral into a full-blown war.

The military statement did not promise an imminent Israeli offensive in Lebanon — any plans must still be vetted by Israel’s leaders. But it appeared to indicate that after months of tit-for-tat fighting, the army wants to show it's prepared for tougher action. The military did not specify what the plans entailed.

It came as the US tries to broker a diplomatic solution to the cross-border conflict and avert a major escalation. Amos Hochstein, a senior advisor to US President Joe Biden, was meeting with officials in Beirut Tuesday in an attempt to quell tensions.

Israel and the Iranian-backed Hezbollah have exchanged fire across the border almost daily since the Israel-Hamas war broke out in October.

Last week, the group launched hundreds of drones and rockets at Israel after Israel killed a senior commander. Israel retaliated with heavy strikes on Hezbollah targets. Israeli strikes have killed more than 400 people in Lebanon, including 70 civilians. On Israel’s side, 16 soldiers and 10 civilians have been killed.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz warned on Tuesday that a decision on an all-out war with Hezbollah was coming soon.

Katz said in an X post that in the wake of threats by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah to damage Haifa's ports that are operated by Chinese and Indian companies, "we are getting very close to the moment of deciding on changing the rules of the game against Hezbollah and Lebanon.”

"In an all-out war, Hezbollah will be destroyed and Lebanon will be severely beaten," he added.



Sudan's RSF Agrees with UN on Steps to Ease Aid Delivery

Sudanese farmers plow a field on the outskirts of Sudan's eastern city of Gedaref on July 18, 2024. (Photo by AFP)
Sudanese farmers plow a field on the outskirts of Sudan's eastern city of Gedaref on July 18, 2024. (Photo by AFP)
TT

Sudan's RSF Agrees with UN on Steps to Ease Aid Delivery

Sudanese farmers plow a field on the outskirts of Sudan's eastern city of Gedaref on July 18, 2024. (Photo by AFP)
Sudanese farmers plow a field on the outskirts of Sudan's eastern city of Gedaref on July 18, 2024. (Photo by AFP)

Sudan's Rapid Support Forces agreed with the United Nations on some steps to ease aid delivery in areas under its control, a member of the RSF told Reuters on Thursday.

The Sudanese army has not reached any understandings on aid delivers with the RSF, he added. It is unclear if these steps could be implemented without the army's participation.

Meanwhile, a key supply route into Sudan's Darfur region, deemed at risk of famine by a global monitor, has been cut off due to heavy rains, a World Food Program official told Reuters on Thursday.
The UN agency has described Sudan as the world's biggest hunger crisis, with the western Darfur region most at risk as Sudan's 15-month civil war that has displaced millions and sparked ethnic violence grinds on.
WFP's Country Director Eddie Rowe said thousands of tons of aid are stranded at the Tina crossing on the Chad border, prompting the body to reopen talks with the army-aligned government to open an alternative, all-weather crossing further south called Adre.
"You have these huge rivers. As I speak now, our convoy, which is supposed to move over 2000 metric tons is stranded," he told Reuters from Port Sudan. Asked on the status of the talks that resumed this week, he said: "It's 50/50.”
WFP is now seeking clearances to move a large 70-truck convoy via a little-used, over 1000 kilometer route from Port Sudan to Darfur which Rowe said will involve crossing the battle lines of both the Sudan Armed Forces, the Rapid Support Forces and various militias.
He added that this mostly desert route has worked in the past but outside of the rainy season and that the last journey took weeks and was "fraught with a lot of challenges.”
In a separate interview, Mona Rishmawi, a member of the UN Fact-Finding Mission on Sudan, told Reuters that she had met Darfur refugees in Chad who told her stories of escaping with virtually no water and eating grass along the route. "There's no doubt that people are starving," she said.