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Ex-Israel army veteran is US’s pick for envoy to end war with Hezbollah

June 18, 2024 at 5:50 pm

Amos Hochstein, Senior Advisor to US President Joe Biden, who is the mediator between Israel and Lebanon in Beirut, Lebanon on March 04, 2024 [Houssam Shbaro/Anadolu Agency]

US President Joe Biden’s special envoy, Amos Hochstein, arrived in Lebanon today in an effort to de-escalate tensions between the Hezbollah movement and Israel. But who is the man tasked with this important endeavour?

Born in Israel to American parents, the 51-year-old served in the Israeli occupation army’s Armored Corps. After his discharge from military service, he moved to the United States where he now lives with his wife, Julie Rae Ringel, and their four children in Washington D.C.

Hochstein previously served as a mediator on behalf of the Biden administration in the maritime border dispute between Israel and Lebanon, and brokered the maritime border agreement between Israel and Lebanon that was signed in October 2022.

He began his diplomatic career in 2011, when he held several positions in the Obama administration, including Under Secretary of State for Energy.

In 2022, he mediated negotiations between Greece and Turkiye regarding the division of the Aegean Sea, until an interim agreement was reached. At the same time, he conducted similar negotiations between Cyprus and Turkiye.

He also worked as an intermediary in the gas sale deal signed in 2014 between Israel and Jordan.

READ: Biden’s senior adviser arrives in Beirut to ease tensions along Lebanon-Israel border