Gallant says open to Hezbollah agreement as report says deal may be imminent


Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on Monday said that Israel is open to reaching an agreement with Hezbollah if it includes a “safe zone” along the border and security guarantees.

Al-Arabiya TV and its Al-Hadath channel meanwhile quoted unnamed sources as saying that an agreement between Israel and Hezbollah might be “imminent.”

“Israel has agreed that Hezbollah would keep some monitoring sites that would be shared with the Lebanese Army and French forces in south Lebanon, specifically south of the Litani River,” the sources said.

“Israel has stressed that the Lebanese Army should deploy on all points on Lebanon’s border along with French forces,” the sources added.

“Weapons should only be in the hands of the Lebanese Army in the area south of the Litani River,” the sources quoted Israel as saying.

“International mediators have been informed that there would be a U.S. guarantee that Israel would not carry out any operation or attack against south Lebanon, amid a suggestion that U.S. forces would deploy on the Israeli side of the border,” the sources said, adding that the implementation of the agreement would begin when the war in Gaza ends.

Israeli war cabinet minister Benny Gantz meanwhile told U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a phone call that “Israel wants to change the current situation on the border with Lebanon.”

“Lebanon’s government must be pressed to stop Hezbollah’s Iran-backed attacks and to keep it away from the border,” Gantz added.

Since the Israel-Hamas war began on October 7, the frontier between Lebanon and Israel has seen intensifying exchanges of fire, mainly between the Israeli army and Hezbollah, raising fears of a broader conflagration.

More than 120 people have been killed on the Lebanese side since October, mostly Hezbollah fighters but also including more than a dozen civilians, according to an AFP tally.

Comments 1
Thumb 11 December 2023, 21:40

Naharnet, it would be insightful to feature today’s visit of UN ambassadors to the Egypt-Gaza (Rafah) region for a comprehensive assessment of the situation . Emphasizing the notable absence of the US and France—while France's decision might be anticipated due to Macron's perceived bias—would provide valuable context to readers.