Senior Biden Adviser to Visit Israel Amid Rising Tensions With Lebanon

By Yoni Weiss

View of a large fire that started from missiles launched from Lebanon near Kibbutz Kfar Szold, northern Israel, Friday. (Ayal Margolin/Flash90)

A senior Biden adviser, Amos Hochstein, will travel to Israel on Monday for crucial meetings aimed at preventing further escalation between Israel and Lebanon, a White House official announced.

Hochstein will focus on efforts to de-escalate tensions along the “Blue Line” between Israel and Lebanon, according to the official.

Recent hostilities between Israel and Iran-backed Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon have raised fears of a broader conflict in the Middle East. The IDF warned on Sunday that intensified cross-border attacks from Hezbollah could lead to serious escalation.

“Hezbollah’s increasing aggression is bringing us to the brink of what could be a wider escalation, one that could have devastating consequences for Lebanon and the entire region,” IDF spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said in a video statement.

Last week, Hezbollah launched its largest volleys of rockets and drones in eight months of exchanges with the IDF. After heavy exchanges last week, there was a marked decrease in Hezbollah fire on Sunday, while the IDF conducted several airstrikes against the group in southern Lebanon.

The U.S. and France are working toward a negotiated settlement to the hostilities along Lebanon’s southern border. However, Hezbollah has stated it will not cease fire unless Israel halts its military offensive in Gaza.

“Israel will take the necessary measures to protect its civilians – until security along our border with Lebanon is restored,” Hagari said.

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