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US envoy urges to de-escalate Lebanese-Israeli border tensions

Hochstein said that “a ceasefire in Gaza or an alternative diplomatic solution could also bring the conflict across the Blue Line to an end”…reports Asian Lite News

US envoy Amos Hochstein has called for urgent de-escalation in cross-border fire exchanges between Hezbollah and Israel, the media reported.

During his visit to Beirut, Hochstein said on Tuesday that it is in everyone’s interest to resolve the conflict along the blue line between Israel and Hezbollah quickly and diplomatically, noting it is “both achievable and urgent”.

Hochstein’s remarks came following his meeting with Lebanese House Speaker Nabih Berri, with whom he discussed a potential deal on Gaza with Israel, Xinhua news agency reported.

The US envoy also met with Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati, who said that “Lebanon does not seek escalation, and what is required is to stop the ongoing Israeli aggression against Lebanon and return to calm and stability on the southern border”.

Hochstein said that “a ceasefire in Gaza or an alternative diplomatic solution could also bring the conflict across the Blue Line to an end”.

Tensions along the Lebanon-Israel border escalated on October 8, 2023, following a barrage of rockets launched by the Lebanese armed group Hezbollah toward Israel in solidarity with Hamas’ attack on Israel on October 7.

Israel then retaliated by firing heavy artillery toward southeastern Lebanon.

Israeli forces deepen Rafah invasion

Israeli airstrikes on Tuesday killed at least 17 Palestinians in two of the Gaza Strip’s historic refugee camps and Israeli tanks pushed deeper into the enclave’s southern city of Rafah, residents and medics said.

Residents reported heavy bombardments from tanks and planes in several areas of Rafah, where more than a million people had taken refuge before May. Most of the population has fled northwards since then as Israeli forces invaded the city.

“Rafah is being bombed without any intervention from the world, the occupation (Israel) is acting freely here,” a Rafah resident and father of six told Reuters via a chat app.

Israeli tanks were operating inside Tel Al-Sultan, Al-Izba, and Zurub areas in Rafah’s west, as well as Shaboura at the heart of the city. They also continued to occupy the eastern neighborhoods and outskirts as well as the border with Egypt and the vital Rafah border crossing.

“There are Israeli forces in most areas, there is heavy resistance too and they are making them pay dearly but the occupation is not ethical and they are destroying the city and the refugee camp,” the resident said.

Palestinian health officials said one man was killed in the morning by Israeli fire on the eastern side of Rafah. Medics said they believed many others had been killed in the past days and weeks but rescue teams could not reach them.

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