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Hezbollah: Gaza Peace Key to Ceasefire

Nasrallah reiterated that Hezbollah will support whatever decision is made by Hamas in its negotiations with Israel….reports Asian Lite News

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has confirmed that his group will stop attacking Israel if an agreement is reached on a ceasefire in Gaza.

Nasrallah made the remark on Wednesday in a televised speech commemorating Mohammad Ni’mah Nasser, a party leader killed by Israel in southern Lebanon last week, reports Xinhua news agency.

The Hezbollah leader also made a response to Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant’s earlier comments about the potential continuation of conflict in Lebanon even if Gaza’s war ends, asserting the importance of defending Lebanon’s south and its people.

“Is the enemy who is unable to end operations in Rafah and achieve any gains capable of invading south of the Litani River in southern Lebanon?” he asked.

Moreover, Nasrallah reiterated that Hezbollah will support whatever decision is made by Hamas in its negotiations with Israel.

“The brothers in Hamas know best,” he stated, emphasising that Hamas negotiates on behalf of all resistance factions and that Hezbollah will back all its decisions.

Nasrallah’s words came while delegations from Egypt, the United States, Qatar, and Israel met on Wednesday in Qatar’s capital Doha to resume the Gaza truce talks.

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US sees breakthrough in Gaza; Hezbollah strikes Israel

The official expressed optimism that this development could pave the way for an agreement as a step towards achieving a permanent ceasefire…reports Asian Lite News

Hamas militant group has made a significant shift in its stance regarding a potential hostage release deal with Israel, according to a senior US administration official, media reported.

The official expressed optimism that this development could pave the way for an agreement as a step towards achieving a permanent ceasefire, Reuters reported.

“We’ve had a breakthrough,” the official informed reporters during a conference call. However, they noted that there are still unresolved issues regarding the implementation of the agreement and cautioned that finalizing a deal is not expected within a matter of days.

Hezbollah rocket attack

An Israeli army officer was killed in Hezbollah rocket fire on Thursday, the Israeli military said in a press statement.

The slain was identified as Itay Galea, 38, a deputy company commander in the 8679th Unit of the Israeli army’s 679th Armored Brigade, Xinhua news agency reported.

He was killed when a rocket hit the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights during Hezbollah’s massive attacks against Israel.

Hezbollah launched about 200 rockets, missiles, and drones toward northern Israel in retaliation for Israel’s recent targeted killing of its senior military leader Mohammad Naameh Nasser in southwestern Lebanon’s Tyre city.

Galea, a reservist officer, fought in the Gaza Strip before being sent to northern Israel as part of Israel’s preparation for a possible full-fledged war with Hezbollah.

His death marked the 18th fatality among Israeli troops from Hezbollah attacks since the beginning of the cross-border fighting between the Lebanese armed group and Israel in early October last year.

Israel strikes Lebanon

A Hezbollah member was killed, and seven civilians were injured in Israeli airstrikes and artillery shelling in southern Lebanon, Lebanese military sources said.

The military sources, who spoke anonymously, told Xinhua news agency that Israel carried out 12 airstrikes targeting nine towns and villages, and its artillery bombed 17 border towns and villages, killing a Hezbollah member and injuring seven civilians on Thursday.

The sources noted that the Hezbollah member was killed, and three civilians were injured in an Israeli raid targeting a house in the village of Houla.

In another Israeli strike in the village of Kfarchouba, a shell falling on a house wounded two civilians, while two others were injured in a bombing on the southeastern town of Shebaa, the sources added.

They specifically noted that four members of the Civil Defence sustained minor injuries and suffered suffocation while extinguishing a fire in the municipality of Kounine.

The sources indicated that the Israeli bombing destroyed 17 homes, damaged 35 others, and led to nine fires in the border area.

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US envoy to hold talks in Paris amid Israel-Hezbollah tensions

Hochstein called for urgent de-escalation in cross-border fire exchanges between Hezbollah and Israel….reports Asian Lite News

US envoy Amos Hochstein scheduled to meet French officials in Paris on Wednesday to address the increasing cross-border clashes between Hezbollah and the Israeli military, as reported by the New York Times.

Last month, Hochstein emphasised Washington’s efforts to prevent “a greater war” amidst escalating exchanges of fire along Lebanon’s southern border.

Hochstein also called for urgent de-escalation in cross-border fire exchanges between Hezbollah and Israel.

During his visit to Beirut, Hochstein said 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.

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US, Russian embassies warn against Lebanon travel

The Israeli military last week announced “plans for a broader attack in Lebanon.”…reports Asian Lite News

Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati discussed “the situation in southern Lebanon and the region” in a phone call on Thursday with Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg.

The talks took place as several embassies in Lebanon reissued warnings to their citizens to neither stay in nor travel to Lebanon amid ongoing threats to expand the confrontation between Israel and Hezbollah.

Schallenberg addressed “international efforts aimed at stopping the Israeli attacks on Lebanon,” according to Mikati’s media office.

The Israeli military last week announced “plans for a broader attack in Lebanon.”

Mikati chaired a crucial meeting on Thursday which focused on “ways to support displaced persons and residents in the villages located behind the area exposed to Israeli attacks and how to respond to any emergency if it occurs,” according to Mikati’s office.

Interior, health, environment, and social affairs ministers, governors of the South and Nabatieh, the secretary-general of the Supreme Defense Council, the National Council for Scientific Research, and a representative from the Ministry of Education attended the talks.

(240514) — GAZA, May 14, 2024 (Xinhua) — Smoke rises following Israeli strikes in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah, on May 14, 2024. Israeli tanks on Tuesday marched towards the center of Rafah, the southernmost city in the Gaza Strip, as tens of thousands of residents fled to evade an Israeli ground offensive, a local source reported. (Photo by Khaled Omar/Xinhua)

The US Embassy warned its citizens in a statement on social media “against traveling to Lebanon due to the dangerous security situation,” adding that “conditions may change dramatically and rapidly.”

The Russian Embassy advised its citizens “to refrain from traveling to Lebanon until the situation in the southern part of the country calms down.”

The statement “is an old version of last year and is still ongoing,” said Russian Ambassador Alexander Rudakov.

“We advise our citizens not to come to Lebanon before the south settles down, and to the citizens there, we have left them the option of staying or leaving.”

European countries have also warned their nationals against heading to Lebanon, while the Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry has evacuated its citizens.

Israeli Channel 12 quoted a source in the Israeli military as saying that Tel Aviv might be forced to take a highly offensive step in Lebanon.

It said the army had begun training soldiers transferred north in preparation for “combat in a complex environment and populated areas.”

The Israeli source confirmed “a decision to transfer forces from the Gaza Strip to the north,” noting that “officials are aware that tensions in the north are escalating.”

The US had previously expressed concern “about the outbreak of a comprehensive war with Lebanon.”

Despite diplomatic efforts, confrontations have intensified between Hezbollah and Israel after the assassination of a senior Hezbollah field commander, Taleb Abdullah, two weeks ago.

Israeli warplanes struck Aitaroun at noon, destroying a house. No injuries were reported. The area — abandoned by its residents — is subjected to daily Israeli strikes.

Another raid was carried out on the border town of Houla.

An Israeli combat drone targeted and killed a motorcyclist on the road to Sohmor in western Beqaa.

Israeli aircraft flew at a low altitude over the Nabatieh and Iqlim Al-Tuffah regions, creating a loud sonic boom by breaking the sound barrier in two waves.

An Israeli drone targeted a residential building in Nabatieh, injuring over 20 residents in the Mashaa neighborhood. Members of a displaced family from the border town of Taybeh were among the wounded.

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Israel-Hezbollah on brink of ‘all-out war’

The fresh Hezbollah attacks took place amid rising tensions along the Israel-Lebanon border as Israel warned it was “ready” to launch a “full-scale” offensive against Hezbollah….reports Asian Lite News

About 35 rockets and missiles fired from Lebanon struck the city of Safed in northern Israel on Thursday evening, causing fires, power cuts and property damage, the Israeli military said.

“The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) Aerial Defence Array successfully intercepted most of the launches,” the Israeli military said in a statement.

According to the country’s Magen David Adom rescue service, no deaths or injuries were reported.

A house was struck by one of the projectiles, the Merom HaGalil Regional Council said in a statement.

The Fire and Rescue Authority reported that several fires erupted and civilians were stuck in elevators due to power outages.

Meanwhile, the Lebanese armed group Hezbollah said in a statement that it had attacked the Israeli air base in Safed with Katyusha rockets, in response to the Israeli attacks on the city of Nabatieh in southern Lebanon and the town of Sohmor in eastern Lebanon a day earlier, Xinhua news agency reported.

Lebanese military sources told the news agency that some of the rockets were intercepted by Israeli Iron Dome missiles.

The fresh Hezbollah attacks took place amid rising tensions along the Israel-Lebanon border as Israel warned it was “ready” to launch a “full-scale” offensive against Hezbollah.

This comes at a time when US intelligence indicated a potential large-scale confrontation between Israel and Hezbollah in the next several weeks if the former and Hamas failed to reach a cease-fire deal in Gaza.

In a separate statement, the IDF said Israeli warplanes, earlier in the day, struck a Hezbollah military structure in the southern Lebanese village of Ramyah and killed two Hezbollah operatives in the village of At Tiri.

On the same day, unnamed Lebanese military sources confirmed to Xinhua that three Hezbollah members were killed and a fourth was wounded in two Israeli airstrikes on Ramyah and Haddatha.

The IDF reported that earlier on Thursday Israel Air Force (IAF) aircraft attacked in the Sakhmar region of Lebanon where they eliminated an active UAV/drone launch unit of the Hezbollah air unit that had carried out launches into Israel earlier.

In addition, IAF fighter jets attacked military buildings of the terrorist organisation Hezbollah in the areas of Hula and Aitaroun in southern Lebanon.

At the same time, the IDF forces fired artillery into the areas of Wadi Hamoula and near Naqoura, both in southern Lebanon.

In addition, on Wednesday night, terrorist infrastructures of the Hezbollah organization were attacked in the areas of Odaisseh and Al-Khiam in Lebanon.

Tensions have been rising along the Lebanon-Israel border since October 8, 2023, following a rocket barrage launched by Hezbollah toward Israel to show its support for the surprise attack on southern Israel launched by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip the day before.

Earlier, A UN official warned the Security Council of a deepening crisis in Gaza and the West Bank.

During a Security Council briefing, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland described the “catastrophic and horrifying” humanitarian crisis in Gaza, where civilians suffer under the impact of hostilities and a near-total breakdown of civil order, reports Xinhua news agency.

He reiterated the Secretary-General’s warning that further escalations “will only guarantee more suffering and potentially catastrophic consequences for the region.”

Wennesland condemned the ongoing Israeli settlement expansions as having “no legal validity” and being in “flagrant violation of international law and relevant UN resolutions.”

“I urge the Government of Israel to cease all settlement activity immediately,” Wennesland stated.

The UN official also condemned the use of explosive weapons in populated areas, which have destroyed neighbourhoods and vital infrastructure, including hospitals and UN premises.

Wennesland noted the increase in violence between Palestinians and Israeli forces and attacks by both Israeli settlers and Palestinians, emphasising that “all perpetrators of violence must be held accountable and swiftly brought to justice.”

He also expressed serious concerns over potential military escalations between Israel and Hezbollah along the Blue Line, the boundary separating Lebanese and Israeli armed forces.

Additionally, Wennesland addressed the Palestinian Authority’s fiscal crisis, exacerbated by Israeli financial constraints. He warned of severe repercussions for the Palestinian financial system, urging immediate action to resolve these financial issues to mitigate the economic and security situation in the occupied West Bank.

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Hezbollah Vows ‘Surprise’ Assaults Against Israel

Nasrallah claimed that “the resistance” is well-prepared for any surprising attacks from Israel…reports Asian Lite News

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has threatened to launch “surprise” attacks against Israel after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he has “surprising” military plans for Lebanon.

“You must expect surprises from our resistance,” the Hezbollah leader said during a televised speech on Friday.

Nasrallah also claimed that “the resistance” is well-prepared for any surprising attacks from Israel, saying they have “studied all hypotheses and scenarios”, Xinhua news agency reported.

In a meeting with several Israeli generals on Thursday, Netanyahu said Israel has “detailed, important, and even surprising plans for the North,” namely the country’s northern neighbour Lebanon.

“We are constantly in action on the northern front,” Netanyahu said, adding Israel has “eliminated hundreds” of Hezbollah members.

Tensions along the Lebanon-Israel border escalated on Oct. 8, 2023, following a barrage of rockets launched by Hezbollah toward Israel in solidarity with Hamas’ attack on Israel the day before. Israel then retaliated by firing heavy artillery toward southeastern Lebanon.

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France Pushes for Peace Talks Amid Hezbollah-Israel Tensions

Sejourne emphasized France’s commitment to safeguarding Lebanon, stressing the importance of restoring stability in southern Lebanon by sending the Lebanese army to the area…reports Asian Lite News

French Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne has called on Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Israel to avoid escalation, reaffirming France’s ongoing efforts to prevent the expansion of conflict between the two sides.

“We reject the worst scenario in southern Lebanon, and it is in no one’s interest for the conflict between Hezbollah and Israel to expand,” Sejourne was quoted by Lebanese TV channel Al-Jadeed as saying on Sunday.

Sejourne made the remarks after his meeting in Beirut with senior Lebanese officials, during which they discussed solutions to the ongoing conflict between Hezbollah and Israel, Xinhua news agency reported.

“We have presented proposals to all partners, considered Lebanon’s response, and will wait for Israel’s response on Tuesday. An agreement must be reached in the end,” he said.

Sejourne emphasized France’s commitment to safeguarding Lebanon, stressing the importance of restoring stability in southern Lebanon by sending the Lebanese army to the area.

He said that Paris would continue to support the Lebanese army, pointing out the “decisive role” of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in “avoiding the worst scenario,” and urging all parties to allow UNIFIL to carry out its tasks.

Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati said during his meeting with Sejourne that “the French initiative constitutes a practical framework for implementing UN Security Council Resolution 1701,” according to a statement released by the Lebanese Council of Ministers.

Mikati said Lebanon was committed to its full implementation, and demanded Israel to honor its commitments and stop its destructive aggression in southern Lebanon.

During the meeting with Sejourne, Lebanese Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib also underlined the importance of implementing Resolution 1701 to achieve stability.

The resolution was adopted in August 2006 to seek a full cessation of hostilities shortly after a month of deadly warfare between Israel and Hezbollah ended with a fragile truce.

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 the day before. Israel then retaliated by firing heavy artillery toward southeastern Lebanon.

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Israel Can’t Erase Hamas: Hezbollah

Nasrallah said that Israel had failed to achieve its “biggest goal” — to eliminate Hamas at the beginning of the war…reports Asian Lite News

Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has said that Israel will not be able to eliminate Hamas even if it enters Rafah, a local media outlet reported.

“You have failed to achieve any of the war’s targets; even the Rafah operation will not offer you an image of victory. You will not be able to get rid of Hamas or the resistance,” Nasrallah said on Wednesday in a televised speech on the occasion of the holy month of Ramadan, showing solidarity with Hamas, the Gaza-ruling Palestinian faction.

Nasrallah said that Israel had failed to achieve its “biggest goal” — to eliminate Hamas at the beginning of the war. After nearly six months of war, Israelis are negotiating with Hamas through mediation, local TV channel al-Manar reported.

He claimed that Hamas is negotiating on behalf of all Palestinian factions, and it aims to reach a halt to the Israeli aggression against Gaza and not only a ceasefire.

The Lebanon-Israel border has been witnessing increased tension since October 8, 2023, after Lebanese armed group Hezbollah fired dozens of rockets toward Israel in support of the Hamas attack on Israel the previous day, prompting Israel to respond by firing heavy artillery toward southeastern Lebanon.

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Hezbollah Missile Attack Kills Indian Worker in Israel

The deceased was identified as Nibin Maxwell, a 31-year-old resident of Vady in Kerala’s Kollam….reports Asian Lite news

One Indian worker was killed, and two others injured in a missile attack by the Hezbollah militant group in Margaliot in Israel. This is the first reported death of an Indian near Israel’s border with Lebanon in several years.

The attack took place on Monday evening. The deceased was identified as Nibin Maxwell, a 31-year-old resident of Vady in Kerala’s Kollam. Seven others were grievously injured in the rocket attack.

Two of the injured hail from Kerala and were identified as Joseph George and Paul Melvin.

Nibin Maxwell’s father told IANS that he had left for Israel in January and that his elder brother Nivin was also working there.

He said that the family was informed about the death around Monday midnight. Kerala Police sources when contacted told IANS that the body was expected to reach Kerala in four days.

Maxwell is survived by his wife, who is seven months pregnant and a five-year-old daughter.

The Embassy of Israel in India mourned the death and said, “We are deeply shocked and saddened by the death of one Indian national and the injury of two others due to a cowardly terror attack launched by Shia Terror organization Hezbollah, on peaceful agriculture workers who were cultivating an orchard at the northern village of Margaliot yesterday early afternoon.”

The statement further said, “Our prayers and thoughts naturally go to the families of the bereaved and those of the injured. Israeli Medical institutions are completely at the service of the injured who are being treated by our very best medical staff. Israel regards equally all nationals, Israeli or foreign, who are injured or killed due to terrorism. We will be there to support the families and offer them assistance.“

According to the Ministry of External Affairs, around 18,000 Indians continue to reside in Israel despite the advisory issued in October that had prompted India to undertake the evacuation of several batches of Indians. After some days the evacuation was paused.

Israel has suspended work permits for thousands of Palestinians because of the ongoing conflict leading to vacancies in a large number of positions. India and Israel had signed an agreement in May 2023 for 42,000 Indian workers to be absorbed into the Israeli economy.

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Tensions Rise as Hezbollah Shoots Down Israeli Drone

According to the anonymous source, the Israeli military conducted three raids on Monday in two border towns in southern Lebanon, and bombed eight towns and villages in the eastern and central regions with around 30 shells…reports Asian Lite News

Hezbollah claimed on Monday that it had shot down an Israeli drone with a surface-to-air missile, and the drone was seen falling in flames in Iqlim al Tuffah, located more than 20 km away from the border between Lebanon and Israel.

The Israeli Hermes 450 drone was shot down by the Islamic Resistance’s air defence unit, Hezbollah said, adding that “its fighters will continue to confront the enemy and prevent them from achieving their aggressive goals,” Xinhua news agency reported.

A Lebanese military source informed Xinhua news agency that three Israeli drones were spotted in the airspace near the southern Lebanon border area during early Monday morning, and two of the drones breached the border into southern Lebanon, travelling a distance of 15 to 20 km.

According to the anonymous source, the Israeli military conducted three raids on Monday in two border towns in southern Lebanon, and bombed eight towns and villages in the eastern and central regions with around 30 shells.

The Lebanon-Israel border has been witnessing increased tension since October 8, 2023, after Lebanese armed group Hezbollah fired dozens of rockets toward Israel in support of the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, prompting Israel to respond by firing heavy artillery toward southeastern Lebanon.

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