U.S. Concerns Grow Over Possible Israeli Incursion of Lebanon

By Yoni Weiss

An Israeli warplane in the sky after an Israeli airstrike in southern Lebanon, as it seen from the Israeli side of the border, Tuesday. (Ayal Margolin/Flash90)

U.S. officials are expressing heightened concerns over potential Israeli plans for a ground incursion into Lebanon, citing the possibility of military action in late spring or early summer if diplomatic efforts fail to curb Hezbollah’s activities along the northern border. Ongoing cross-border strikes between Israel and Hezbollah have displaced tens of thousands of Lebanese and Israeli residents.

The Biden administration is actively engaged in talks with Israeli and Lebanese officials, aiming to broker a deal that could establish a buffer zone in southern Lebanon and potentially avert an Israeli incursion.

Motivations behind Israel’s readiness for an incursion vary, with some viewing it as a strategic move to pressure for a negotiated settlement, while others see it as a military necessity. The escalating tensions, resulting in the displacement of around 80,000 Israelis since October, have prompted Israel to intensify its air campaign, fueling concerns of a broader and more devastating conflict. The intelligence community is reportedly sounding alarms over the situation, while IDF chief Herzi Halevi emphasized the urgency of pushing back Hezbollah, raising the specter of a ground incursion that poses challenges for regional stability and diplomatic efforts to mitigate the conflict.

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