Biden sent message to Nasrallah that US won’t be able to stop Israel if Hezbollah attacks go on — report

US special envoy Amos Hochstein (L) meets with Lebanon's Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri in Beirut on June 18, 2024. (AFP)
US special envoy Amos Hochstein (L) meets with Lebanon's Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri in Beirut on June 18, 2024. (AFP)

US President Joe Biden’s Mideast envoy, Amos Hochstein, warned Lebanese officials last week that his country would not be able to stop Israel from invading should Hezbollah continue its attacks, the Axios news site reports, citing a US official, an Israeli official and a Western diplomat close to the matter.

Hochstein was in Lebanon last week calling for the “urgent” de-escalation of cross-border exchanges of fire between Hezbollah and Israel, raging since the start of the Gaza war. He also visited Israel and held talks in Jerusalem with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, as well as opposition leaders.

During his meeting with Lebanese parliament speaker Nabih Berri, a Hezbollah ally, Hochstein reportedly asked for a message to be sent to the terror group’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, that the US does not control Israel.

He advised Hezbollah to indirectly negotiate with Israel, rather than scaling up border tensions, Axios reports.

According to a Western diplomat cited in the report, Hezbollah sent messages back to the US after the envoy’s visit touting the terror group’s capabilities to deliver some serious blows to Israel, though it also doesn’t want war.

The Axios report adds that US officials are also concerned that as fighting continues in Gaza, a war between Israel and the Lebanese terror group is becoming more likely. This would likely flare regional tensions and draw the US deeper into the conflict.

“It will take everyone’s interest in ending this conflict now. And we believe that there is a pathway diplomatically to do it. If the sides agree to it,” Hochstein said during the visit last week.

Also working to prevent further escalation, two of Netanyahu’s top aides were in Washington this week to discuss a diplomatic solution.

Axios cites a US official as saying that National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi and Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer were told by Biden’s advisers that Washington will fully support Israel should war erupt because Hezbollah decides to show solidarity with its ally Hamas in Gaza.

Since October 8, Hezbollah-led forces have attacked Israeli communities and military posts along the border on a near-daily basis, with the group saying it is doing so to support Gaza amid the war there.

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