‘Israel’ list its demands regarding Lebanon to Hochstein: Report

The Israeli occupation regime is lost on what to do when it comes to southern Lebanon as it seeks both diplomacy and aggression.

  • Israeli soldiers fix tracks near the border area between Lebanon and occupied Palestine, in northern Palestine, January 11, 2024 (AP)

In the midst of intense skirmishes and near-constant firing of rockets and missiles toward northern occupied Palestine, Israeli Security Minister Yoav Gallant met Sunday with US mediator Amos Hochstein and gave him a message to convey, Israeli public broadcaster KAN reported.

The Israeli channel’s political affairs correspondent, Amichai Stein, said Gallant’s meeting with Hochstein was significant, wherein in addition to said meeting, Gallant also engaged with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Isaac Herzog, and War Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz.

Gallant’s message underscored the Israeli occupation’s preparedness for any eventuality to eradicate the looming threat in the north, specifically that of Hezbollah.

Reportedly, he outlined two key demands during the discussions with Hochstein.

Firstly, Galant stressed the necessity of removing the infiltration threat by pushing the Radwan force away from the border to the Litani River. 

Secondly, the Security Minister emphasized the imperative need to address the threat of ATGMs being fired at northern occupied Palestine, which is directly linked to Hezbollah’s capability to launch missiles against the military structures along the north. The Israeli occupation demands that Hezbollah maintain a distance of 8 to 10 kilometers from the borders.

Crucially, Gallant underlined that the Israeli occupation wanted comprehensive understandings, stating that mere cessation of gunfire by Hezbollah would not suffice. “Israel insists on the fulfillment of specific conditions before inviting residents back to the northern regions to ensure their safety,” he claimed.

‘Israel’ may not undermine Hezbollah’s capabilities: Zaltz

In a related context, the head of the Israeli occupation Regional Council in Upper al-Jalil, Giora Zaltz, expressed his belief that “more explicit objectives need to be established for verification.” He added, “Given the current circumstances, it appears that Israel may not effectively undermine Hezbollah’s significant capabilities.”

In an interview with Channel 13, Zalts emphasized the need to define and actively pursue two military objectives. He stated, “The first goal is to eliminate the threat of launching anti-tank missiles directly towards Israel, and the second military objective is to eliminate the threat of fighters infiltrating Israel.”

He contended, “Once the missile threat is eliminated and the danger of fighter infiltration is addressed, coupled with the implementation of an economic plan, I believe that residents of the north will begin returning to their homes within 3 to 6 months.”

Anxiety grips northern settlers

Earlier this week, Israeli media outlets have confirmed that a state of uncertainty and tension prevails in the North. This has led to numerous speculations about the potential cost that the Israeli “home front” may bear in the event of a wider confrontation with Hezbollah.

It was reported that the mayors in the North have expressed their concern about the security situation, providing accelerated basic training for settlers to deal with intensive shelling.

Furthermore, the Israeli media pointed out that the prevailing mood among the settlers has shifted for the worse. Settlers of northern settlements are now aware of the consequences of fighting with Hezbollah, especially considering that thousands of settler housing units have become deserted.

This is happening as the Islamic Resistance in Lebanon – Hezbollah continues to conduct military operations against the Israeli occupation enemy in response to Israeli aggression on Gaza and the South of Lebanon, as the front along the Lebanese-occupied Palestinian border intensifies.

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