There will be no peace with Israel until there is ceasefire in Gaza, Hezbollah reiterates

The US president’s special envoy Amos Hochstein met with Lebanese leaders during his fourth trip to the region since October on an apparent mission to seek peace on Israel’s northern borders

June 18, 2024 by Abdul Rahman
Israeli airstrikes in Southern Lebanon.

Lebanese resistance group Hezbollah reiterated that there is no possibility of ending their attacks against Israel until there is ceasefire in Gaza. Hezbollah made its position clear as the US presidential envoy Amos Hochstein visited Lebanon on Tuesday, June 18 in an apparent attempt to restrain any possibility of war on Israel’s northern border with Lebanon.

Hochstein visited Lebanon after meeting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other top Israeli leaders in Tel Aviv on Monday. This is Hochstein’s fourth trip to the region since the beginning of the war in Gaza in October last year.

Sayyed Hasan Fadallah, an MP from the Hezbollah-backed “loyalty to resistance” block, said on Saturday that Hezbollah will stop attacks inside Israel the moment there is a ceasefire in Gaza. He claimed that no amount of pressure by the US or any other agency will dissuade the resistance from standing in solidarity with Palestinians.

Hochstein met with the speaker of Lebanese parliament Nabih Berri as well as Lebanese prime minister Najib Mikati and foreign minister Abdullah Abou Habib. Media reports on his visit claim that he told Lebanese leadership that unless Hezbollah stops the attacks and retreats, Israel could launch a full-fledged war.

Hochstein has been negotiating with Hezbollah proxies for months now despite it being categorized as a “terrorist organization” by the US in order to prevent a regional escalation of war in Gaza. The US has deployed extra troops in the region since the outbreak of Israeli war in Gaza. It has also launched airstrikes in Yemen in response to Ansar Allah’s blockade in the Red Sea and it has launched attacks against resistance forces in Iraq and Syria in order to protect the Israeli interests.

Fears of a second front against Israel 

White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said on Monday that Hochstein is traveling to the region because “we don’t want to see escalation, second front in Israel war and we are concerned about it.”

The last few weeks have witnessed some of the fiercest fights between Israel and Hezbollah in the region with both the parties declaring their readiness for a war. Hezbollah launched hundreds of rockets inside Israel and shot down another Israeli drone. It escalated its attacks after the killing of one of its commanders Taleb Abdullah on Wednesday, June 12 by Israel. Abdullah was the second Hezbollah commander killed by Israel since the beginning of the war.

Hezbollah, along with other regional groups of the Axis of Resistance like Ansar Allah group in Yemen and Iraqi resistance groups, has pledged solidarity with the Palestinians in Gaza since the beginning of the Israeli war and have demanded an immediate ceasefire.

Hezbollah has been carrying out regular attacks in northern Israel since October 8, a day after Israel launched its war in Gaza. It has targeted several Israeli military positions in the region killing 18 Israeli soldiers so far. Its repeated missile attacks have forced hundreds of thousands of settlers in several villages and towns in northern Israel to flee their homes.

Israel has rejected all appeals for a ceasefire in Gaza. It has repeatedly rejected UN resolutions, including UN Security Council resolutions asking for an immediate ceasefire and greater humanitarian aid in Gaza. Its war has primarily targeted Palestinian civilians, killing over 37,300 of them and wounding nearly 85,000 more since October 7.

Israel has also been carrying out air strikes and artillery attacks inside southern Lebanon killing close to 300 people so far and displacing thousands of them. On Monday, Israeli forces announced that they assassinated Hezbollah commander Muhammad Mustafa Ayoub.