US senators: Israel 'not bluffing' about Lebanon offensive


U.S. democratic senators Chris Coons and Richard Blumenthal have said that Israel "is not bluffing" about an offensive against Hezbollah but that a truce in Gaza could pave way for a de-escalation in lebanon.

The senators told Reuters Wednesday, after they met with Lebanese officials in Beirut, that a possible Israeli military offensive against Hezbollah could be prevented as a hostage deal and truce in Gaza could have "positive consequences" for Lebanon. They said the coming weeks will be crucial for the region and for Lebanon.

"The next few weeks are a real hinge point — for Gaza, for Israel, for Lebanon, for the Red Sea, for Iraq," said Coons, adding that the truce "could create that window of 45 days, quite likely during Ramadan as well, when the next steps can be taken to begin to build the confidence that could lead to a full implementation of (United Nations Security Council resolution) 1701."

The senators had met Wednesday with Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri. They said they told him that Israel "is not bluffing" about an offensive. "It's not just rhetoric. It will act. And we hope that that message was conveyed to Hezbollah," Blumenthal said.

Since October 8, Hezbollah and Israel have exchanged cross-border fire on a near-daily basis, with the group saying it is doing so in support of Gaza.

The cross-border exchanges since October have killed at least 271 people on the Lebanese side, most of them Hezbollah fighters but also including 42 civilians. On the Israeli side, 10 soldiers and six civilians have been killed, according to the Israeli army.

Comments 1
Thumb 22 February 2024, 20:42

"U.S. democratic senators Chris Coons and Richard Blumenthal” are two Zionists. Place them under arrest and ship them to Roumieh.