What proposals did Hochstein carry to Lebanon?


U.S. mediator Amos Hochstein proposed during his visit to Beirut on Thursday a cessation of hosilities between Lebanon and Israel and an eight-kilometer pullback by Hezbollah from the border, which would allow for the return of displaced residents on both sides of the border, the Nidaa al-Watan newspaper reported on Friday.

“This pullback would be a gateway for proposing a plan for resolving the dispute over the land border points. At the same time 10,000 Lebanese soldiers would be deployed to work with UNIFIL forces on implementing Resolution 1701,” the daily quoted Hochstein as saying.

“Negotiations over the land border will not be through the tripartite military committee, but rather through indirect negotiations rounds based on the exchange of papers and proposals and shuttle diplomacy between Beirut and Tel Aviv, which will be carried out by Hochstein himself,” the newspaper added.

More than three months of cross-border violence have killed 190 people in Lebanon, including more than 140 Hezbollah fighters and over 20 civilians including three journalists. In northern Israel, nine soldiers and at least four civilians have been killed, according to Israeli authorities.

The violence has also displaced tens of thousands of residents on both sides of the border.

Last week, Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah hailed "a historic opportunity" to help Lebanon regain control of disputed border land, "after this phase (of fighting between Israel and Hezbollah) ends and after the aggression on Gaza."

The same day, Israel's Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said his government "prefers a diplomatic path over a military one," but warned: "We are close to the point of the hour glass turning over."

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