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Israel asks Lebanon to restrain Hezbollah ‘provocations’

August 2, 2022 at 2:28 pm

An Israeli observation balloon flies past a Hezbollah flag above the Abbad area on the Lebanese-Israeli border [JOSEPH BARRAK/AFP via Getty Images]

Israel has conveyed “clear messages” through the United States to neighbouring Lebanon, warning that if Hezbollah group does not restrain its actions, the Israeli army will respond to any breach of calm, and will not be satisfied with merely intercepting drones, Israel’s Walla News reported.

The site quoted unnamed Israeli sources as saying, on Sunday evening, that security officials in Tel Aviv explained that Washington attaches great weight and importance to the maritime border talks between Israel and Lebanon, in order to prevent a security escalation and to show Arab countries that it still has influence in the region.

The website added that the Israeli army continues to strengthen defence systems around the Karish gas platform in the Mediterranean, by placing special sensors that warn of hostilities.

According to Israeli military sources, “if the Americans fail to reach a settlement before the start of pumping gas from the field in September, there will be an assessment of the situation at the Israeli security establishment, including raising the level of alert in the northern border.”

READ: US mediator hopeful of Lebanon-Israel border demarcation deal

The Israeli military sources said the United States will lead to a settlement and a decision is likely to be made as early as this week. Moreover, the Lebanese government’s approval of the settlement will oblige Hezbollah not to act against the decision, according to Walla.

Last week, Israel submitted to the United States an updated proposal regarding the maritime border talks with Lebanon.

Two senior Israeli officials commenting on the case said the Israeli position was conveyed to the White House before the US official mediating the maritime dispute, Amos Hochstein, arrived in Beirut.