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Israel trying to provoke Hezbollah, draw US into a wider war: US media

An Israeli mobile artillery unit takes position in Upper Galilee in the northern part of Occupied Palestine near the Lebanon border on November 15, 2023. (Photo by AFP)

US President Joe Biden’s top adviser has arrived in Israel for talks with senior Israeli officials to stop Israeli provocations against the Hezbollah resistance movement and prevent a war in Lebanon that could embroil Washington, an American report says.

Amos Hochstein arrived in Israel on Monday to meet with minister of military affairs, Yoav Gallant, minister for strategic affairs, Ron Dermer, the Israeli army’s chief of staff Herzi Halevi, and the so-called national security adviser Tzachi Hanegbi, Axios cited an Israeli official as saying.

The visit comes as American officials say the White House is concerned that Israeli military action in Lebanon is increasing tensions along the Lebanese border and could lead to a regional war.

“Some in the Biden administration are concerned Israel is trying to provoke Hezbollah and create a pretext for a wider war in Lebanon that could draw the US and other countries further into the conflict,” Axios reported, noting that Israeli officials have denied this.

Hochstein arrived in Israel after another day of exchange of fire between Hezbollah fighters and Israeli forces.

“This trip builds on Hochstein’s visit to Beirut earlier this month where he made clear the United States does not want to see conflict in Gaza escalating and expanding into Lebanon,” a US official told Axios.

“While in Israel, Hochstein will emphasize that restoring calm along Israel’s northern border is of utmost importance to the United States and it should be a top priority for both Israel and Lebanon.”

The Tel Aviv regime wants Washington to do its diplomatic work to “press Hezbollah to pull back its elite Radwan Force from the border with Israel,” the report said citing an Israeli official.

Hezbollah has warned that it will join the Palestinian resistance group Hamas and its allies in the fight against Israel if the regime escalates its aggression on Gaza and in case foreign military forces intervene to help the Israeli regime in the battle.

Hezbollah’s Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said on November 2 that the Lebanese resistance movement entered the battle against Israel on October 8, a day after Gaza-based Palestinian resistance movements launched their surprise attack, Operation al-Aqsa Storm, against the regime.

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