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First alarms in 48 hours sound in northern Israel as Hezbollah rejects truce until Gaza war ends

US envoy: Hezbollah-Israel conflict 'has gone on long enough'

Map of sirens in northern Israel, June 18, 2024 (Photo: Screenshot/Red Alert App)

Alarm sirens sounded in northern Israel for the first time in 48 hours, breaking the recent lull in the fighting just as U.S. envoy Amos Hochstein arrived in Lebanon to continue talks to reach a diplomatic solution.

After more than 48 hours of relative quiet, drone infiltration sirens sounded in the area of Malkia, Arab al-Aramsheh and Adamit, with Hezbollah claiming responsibility for launching a drone at Israel.

Later, more alarms were activated in the areas of Shlomi, Liman and Rosh Hanikra. The IDF subsequently stated it had shot down three hostile drones.

An official representing Hezbollah in the Lebanese parliament told the Qatari al-Araby al-Jadid news outlet that the terror group wouldn’t stop its attacks as long as the war in the Gaza Strip continued. He added that there was no point in the U.S. sending envoys and that it should pressure Israel instead.

Hochstein arrived in Beirut on Tuesday after visiting Israel, carrying harsh warnings from Israeli officials that negotiations were needed, “otherwise escalation is inevitable,” according to the Lebanese al-Jadid channel.

“The conflict… between Israel and Hezbollah has gone on for long enough,” Hochstein declared after meeting with Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, a member of the Shiite Amal Party which is allied with Hezbollah.

“It’s in everyone’s interest to resolve it quickly and diplomatically – that is both achievable and it is urgent.”

“The talks I held today in Beirut and the ones I held yesterday in Israel were held because the situation is dangerous. We have seen an escalation in recent weeks, and what President Biden wants to do is prevent further escalation,” Hochstein said.

He added: “A ceasefire in Gaza and, or, an alternative diplomatic solution could also bring the conflict across the Blue Line to an end” and bring about the return of the residents who fled the fighting in southern Lebanon and northern Israel.

Before the meeting with Berri, who, according to KAN News, is effectively negotiating on behalf of Hezbollah, Hochstein met with army commander Gen. Joseph Aoun, a key figure in the negotiations.

Hochstein is also expected to meet with the caretaker Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati and Foreign Minister Abdullah Bou Habib.

On Tuesday, the Saudi channel al-Arabiya quoted an unnamed Israeli military official who claimed the IDF has forced Hezbollah to withdraw its forces up to 8 km (5 miles) from the Israeli border.

He added that the IDF had succeeded in averting the danger of an invasion by Hezbollah forces into large areas of the Galilee by seriously degrading the group’s capabilities since last October.

In addition, the official said the repeated assassinations of Hezbollah officials significantly embarrassed the terrorists and directly damaged its organization.

Despite initial reports to the contrary, the mysterious overnight strike late last Thursday did not kill another high-ranking Hezbollah operative, KAN reported Monday.

The rumors claimed that Hezbollah’s No. 2, Naim Kassem, or Hashim Safi al-Din, the head of Hezbollah’s Executive Council, was eliminated. Kassem is widely seen as a possible successor for Hezbollah's top general, Hassan Nasrallah, however, it was later revealed that the highly sensitive intelligence headquarters was the target.

“It’s a secret headquarters of one of Hezbollah’s intelligence services, which, in fact, was hidden among the civilian population. Therefore, within a short time the group closed off the site of the attack,” said Roee Kais, Arab Affairs correspondent for KAN

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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