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Hezbollah fires 10 rockets at Rosh Hanikra as Israel denies it set deadline for diplomatic solution

Lebanese newspaper: If no solution is reached by March 15, Israel will escalate

View of an IDF army base in Rosh Hanikra, at the border between Israel and Lebanon, on Jan. 17, 2024 (Photo: Yossi Aloni/Flash90).

The Lebanese terror group Hezbollah continued its near-daily attacks against Israel on Thursday morning with a 10-rocket barrage fired at the Israeli city of Rosh Hanikra on the Mediterranean coast, amid reports that Israel is close to losing its patience and will soon escalate the border skirmishes.

The Lebanese newspaper al-Akhbar, which is seen as close to Hezbollah, reported that Israel told Western nations if no diplomatic agreement was reached by March 15, it would act militarily to remove Hezbollah from the Israeli border.

In this case, Israel would be ready to accept the chance of the war turning into a regional affair, the newspaper said citing Western sources. Many Israeli media outlets echoed the report while cautioning that its source wasn’t seen as especially reliable.

Israeli officials later denied the report, according to Israel’s KAN new outlet.

“This isn’t true. There is no such deadline,” a source told KAN.

Hezbollah continued its recent trend of firing large barrages at Israeli border towns. The IDF reported that its aerial defense systems had intercepted 9 out of the 10 rockets fired at the northern coastal town of Rosh Hanikra.

Hezbollah said it was targeting an IDF military site south of the town, claiming the war in Gaza was being run from there.

Late on Wednesday night, two rockets were fired at Israel's Golan Heights from Syria, falling in open areas. The IDF said that it shelled the launch area in response.

Earlier on Wednesday, Israeli fighter jets struck several Hezbollah targets and prevented an imminent attack by striking a terror squad in Lebanon. The strike took place after the IDF shot down a Hezbollah drone that crossed into Israeli territory near Metula.

U.S. envoy Amos Hochstein visited both Lebanon and Israel this week to find a diplomatic solution to the conflict. During a meeting in Beirut on Monday, he warned that if a war were to break out, it would not be containable.

“We are committed to the diplomatic process,” Gallant told the Hochstein in a meeting on Tuesday. “However, Hezbollah’s aggression is bringing us closer to a critical point in the decision-making regarding our military activities in Lebanon.”

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant meets with Senior Advisor to US President Biden Amos Hochstein, at the Ministry of Defense Headquarters in Tel Aviv, March 5, 2024 (Photo: Shachar Yurman)

Lebanese Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib presented his country’s vision to reach a peaceful resolution to the conflict during an Arab League meeting in Cairo on Wednesday.

Despite saying that his Lebbanon's vision was “based on a comprehensive implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701,” which according to Lebanon would include numerous Israeli concessions on disputed border areas, Bou Habib also conditioned any agreement with an end to the war in Gaza.

“Stopping the aggression on Gaza remains the key to de-escalation in the region in parallel with the implementation of our vision for sustainable stability in southern Lebanon and in conjunction with starting a quick mechanism to find a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian issue,” Bou Habib stated.

Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati said in an interview on Tuesday that from his perspective, Hezbollah wasn’t interested in escalating the situation and had been restraining itself.

The political system in Lebanon has been in a years-long crisis, only paralleled by its disastrous economic situation. The country has been without a president since October 2022, with the current government being only a temporary caretaker.

The Lebanese armed forces are seen as weak and corrupt, and are considered inferior to the Hezbollah terror forces in personnel and weaponry. The southern part of the country that borders Israel, in particular, is completely under the control of Hezbollah.

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

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