Tue 18 Jun 2024 10:36 am - Jerusalem Time

The American mediator arrives in Beirut from Israel

US envoy Amos Hockstein arrived on Tuesday in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, from Israel, on a visit of unannounced duration.

The National News Agency (official) reported that Hockstein arrived in the morning at Rafik Hariri International Airport in Beirut, noting that he will meet with Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati this afternoon.

The American mediator is expected to discuss ways to stop the confrontations between Israel and Hezbollah on Lebanon's southern border, according to local newspapers.

On Monday, Hockstein began a visit to Israel as part of efforts to calm the confrontations on the border with Lebanon after they escalated significantly last week.

The American envoy met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Isaac Herzog, opposition leader Yair Lapid, and Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant.

The Israeli President's Office said in a statement that the two sides discussed what it described as "the continuous attacks and missile launches from Hezbollah, instigated by Iran, towards the northern towns and cities (settlements) in Israel, and the urgent need to restore security on the northern border and allow the population (settlers) to return safely to their homes." (Northern Israel).”

Since October 8, 2023, Palestinian and Lebanese factions, most notably Hezbollah, have exchanged daily bombardments with the Israeli army. The factions say they stand in solidarity with Gaza, which is being exposed to a devastating Israeli war that has left more than 122,000 Palestinians dead and wounded.

In recent weeks, the “Blue Line” separating Israel and Lebanon has witnessed a remarkable escalation, and the United States has repeatedly called for it to be contained.

In October 2022, Lebanon and Israel, mediated by Hockstein, signed an agreement to demarcate the maritime borders, which Hezbollah considered at the time “a major victory for Lebanon, the state, the people and the resistance.”

It is worth noting that Israel has been occupying lands in southern Lebanon and the Syrian Golan Heights for decades.


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The American mediator arrives in Beirut from Israel