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Netanyahu says Israel seeks to restore security on Lebanon border

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets U.S. presidential advisor, Amos Hochstein, Jan. 4, 2024 (Photo: Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told visiting U.S. presidential advisor, Amos Hochstein, that the Jewish state intends to fundamentally restore security along its northern border with Lebanon, which is currently threatened by the Iranian-backed terror organization Hezbollah.

The Biden administration reportedly dispatched special envoy Hochstein to the Middle East to cool tensions and prevent the war between the terror organization Hamas and Israel in the south from igniting into a full war between Hezbollah and Israel in the north.

In 2022, Hochstein played a prominent role in securing a maritime deal between Lebanon and Israel. The agreement was hailed at the time as historic as Lebanon and Israel do not have any official diplomatic relations.

During the meeting with Hochstein, Netanyahu emphasized that Israel needs to restore security for its citizens, especially those living in communities adjacent to the Lebanon border.

"We are resolute in bringing about fundamental change along our border with Lebanon, ensuring our citizens' safety and restoring peace to our northern region," the Israeli prime minister vowed.

"The security of our people is paramount. We will persist until this goal is realized, be it through diplomatic means or otherwise," Netanyahu added.

The Israeli leader told the senior Biden administration official that the Jewish state is more united and determined to defend itself against all threats following the Oct. 7 massacre of more than 1,200 Israelis, mostly civilians, by Hamas terrorists and their operatives.

"Following the tragic events of October 7, Israel stands more determined and unified than ever before. Our neighbors will witness our resolve in the south, in the north, and across all arenas," Netanyahu stated.

The Iranian-backed terror group Hezbollah began shelling northern Israel shortly after the Hamas invasion in southern Israel in early October. Neither Hezbollah nor Israel appears to be interested in waging a full-scale war. However, tensions are growing on the Lebanese-Israeli border following the recent assassination of senior Hamas terror leader Saleh al-Arouri in Beirut, which was initially attributed to the Jewish state.

Hamas and Hezbollah are allies and both terror organizations are proxies of the Iranian ayatollah regime, committed to the destruction of Israel. The assassination of Arouri was a serious blow to Hamas and Hezbollah quickly threatened Israel with retaliation.

"We consider the assassination of Arouri and his companions in Beirut a serious act of aggression against Lebanon and the Lebanese people, including the security of Lebanon, its sovereignty and the resistance movement. We declare that this crime will not go unpunished and that the hands of the resistance are on the trigger and its forces are on high alert," Hezbollah warned.

The IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi recently inspected the Israeli military positions along the country’s northern border with Lebanon. The IDF chief stressed that the Israeli army is fully prepared for any scenario including a larger-scale war with Hezbollah.

“We are in a very strong state of readiness in the north under my impression. I visit here a lot, I think readiness is at its peak,” Halevi stated. “Our first task is to return residents securely, and it will take time,” he added.

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

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