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Israel tells Hezbollah via US that it does not want war

July 5, 2023 at 1:41 pm

Israeli self-propelled howitzers fire towards Lebanon from a position near the northern Israeli town of Kiryat Shmona near the disputed Shebaa Farms district on August 6, 2021 [JALAA MAREY/AFP via Getty Images]

Israel informed Hezbollah during the Eid Al-Adha holiday that it does not want war and does not intend to forcibly remove a military outpost set up by the group on the southern border of the Israeli-occupied Shebaa Farms, Anadolu has reported, citing local media sources. The communication was sent through the US ambassador to Lebanon, Dorothy Shea.

According to the official Israeli channel Kan on 21 June, Hezbollah “invaded the sovereign territory of the State of Israel, in the Dov Mountain sector [the occupied Shebaa Farms], and set up an armed military site [two tents] there.”

On Tuesday, the Lebanese Al-Akhbar newspaper, which is close to Hezbollah, said, “Last month was full of international mediation at the request of the Israeli enemy to resolve the crisis caused by the presence of the two tents.” Following the delivery of the message to the group, it added, Ambassador Shea requested an urgent meeting with Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati to inform him of Tel Aviv’s message.

Shea explained during the meeting that the Biden administration urges the Lebanese government to reach an understanding between the army leadership and the international emergency forces to address the crisis of the tents. The US envoy explained further that calm rhetoric and the absence of additional movements by Hezbollah and citizens who support it in the aforementioned region helps to relieve tension among Israelis.

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There was no comment from the US Embassy in Beirut or Hezbollah about the report. A Lebanese government source refused to comment to Anadolu about it.

“Any Israeli action to remove the two tents, whatever its level, will cost a war,” warned the head of Hezbollah’s parliamentary bloc, Muhammad Raad, on Saturday.

Israel’s Channel 12 reported on Sunday the possibility of an “escalation” in light of Hezbollah’s refusal to remove the two tents from the Israeli-occupied Lebanese territory.