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Discussions for solution to Lebanon issue and removing Hezbollah forces 'becoming intense'

Involved parties estimate current chances of finding political solution as ‘low’

Lebanese Hezbollah fighters are taking part in cross-border raids, part of a large-scale military exercise, in Aaramta bordering Israel on May 21, 2023 ahead of the anniversary of Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon in 2000. (Photo by Fadel Itani/NurPhoto

The talks to find a diplomatic solution to the Lebanon issue and removing Hezbollah beyond the Litani River have “become intense in recent days,” sources privy to the details claimed.

As published on the Kan Reshet Bet morning radio program on Wednesday, apart from removing Hezbollah forces to the north, one of the main issues is the reinforcement and increase of UNIFIL forces in the territory of southern Lebanon.

Meanwhile, the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar, which is affiliated with Hezbollah, reported this morning that the American envoy Amos Hochstein, who acted as mediator on behalf of the Biden administration in the maritime agreement signed between Israel and Lebanon last year, proposed a “big deal” to resolve the conflict between Israel and Lebanon.

According to the proposal, Lebanon will receive ownership of the contested point B1 on the buoy line in Nakura Bay and the solution to the 13 disputed points on the border, which was established in 2000, will be implemented.

In addition, Israel will withdraw from the Lebanese part of the village of Ghajar and Israel will withdraw from Shebaa Farms, which will be handed over to international forces.

As part of this, the territories from which Israel is to withdraw will be handed over to international forces and they will be considered “territories in dispute” between the two countries.

Also, Minister Benny Gantz yesterday spoke with the foreign ministers of Great Britain and Germany on the issue of Lebanon.

It was also reported that the French foreign minister will arrive in Beirut at the end of the week, and there is a possibility that French President Macron will visit the country later this month.

The assessment of the various parties involved in the negotiations is that the chance to reach a political solution is currently “low,” but despite this, they are saying that, at this stage, efforts will continue to reach a diplomatic solution.

Amichai Stein is a political correspondent for KAN 11.

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