Israeli official warns that Lebanon is running out of time to stop Hezbollah, raising fears of a second war front

A member of Israel’s war cabinet warned Wednesday that the diplomatic “hourglass” was running out for Lebanon as the nation has failed to stop Hezbollah from launching rockets across the border.

Israeli government minister Benny Gantz mocked the bombing from the Lebanese border, raising new fears that a second war front would open on Israel’s northern border.

“The hourglass for a political agreement is running out,” Gantz told reporters.

“If the world and the Lebanese government do not work to stop the firing against Israel and distance Hezbollah from the border, the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) will.”

Hezbollah, a heavily militarized terrorist organization, maintains tight control over southern Lebanon and began firing rockets into Israel a day after the deadly Hamas attack on October 7.

At least 11 Israelis, including four civilians, have been killed in the attacks.

Around 150 Lebanese – mostly Hezbollah terrorists and 17 civilians – have been killed by Israeli counterattacks. Thousands of civilians have been displaced on both sides of the border.

Hezbollah praised Hamas’ attack on Israel and vowed to join them in the war shortly after October 7 REUTERS

Gantz’s warning came after Hezbollah launched its widest attack yet on Wednesday, firing more rockets and drones into Israel than on any other day since the attacks began.

For weeks, Israeli officials have been working through diplomatic channels with Lebanon to expel Hezbollah from the border region. Officials from the United States and France have been sent to Beirut to ease the tense standoff.

The diplomats have not been successful.

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“We are turning to all normal countries, whether it is the United States, France, the Arab countries, anyone who can somehow influence the situation and has some influence in Lebanon,” Yuli Edelstein, chairman of the Parliamentary Affairs Committee, previously said. Foreign and Defense of Israel. in December.

Edelstein warned that a failure in diplomacy could lead to a second front in the ongoing war.

Israeli rocket launchers were stationed on the northern border and were ready to counterattack Hezbollah on Wednesday. AFP via Getty Images

IDF chief Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi echoed Gantz’s position this week, saying troops stationed in northern Israel were “very prepared.”

“Our first task is to restore security and a sense of security for northern residents, and this will take time,” he said, according to the BBC.

Hezbollah has praised Hamas’ brutal terrorist attack on Israel on October 7, which killed 1,500 people, mostly civilians, and took another 240 hostage. Since then, the Iranian terrorist proxy has been threatening to join to the war.

Just days after the attack, Hezbollah’s senior deputy chief Naim Qassem said the group was “fully prepared” to join Hamas. Qassem described the measure as a “duty” during a rally in October where attendees chanted “Death to Israel.”

Like Hamas, Hezbollah is one of several Iranian-funded Middle Eastern extremist groups that refer to themselves as the “Axis of Resistance.”

Destruction in the Lebanese town of Bint Jbeil after Israeli rocket fire on Tuesday, killing three civilians Xinhua/Shutterstock

Another member of the group, the Houthis in Yemen, are dedicated to the destruction of both the United States and Israel and have critically disrupted trade in the Mediterranean by attacking cargo ships passing through the Red Sea.

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The Axis efforts appear to be part of a broader Iranian campaign to eradicate Western influence in the Middle East, experts warned, and have left the United States and its allies tiptoeing around the region to avoid triggering open conflict with Iran.

President Biden reportedly went so far as to convince Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to halt plans for a preemptive strike against Hezbollah shortly after the October 7 attack.

However, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made his attitude towards Hezbollah perfectly clear.

During a visit to the northern border earlier this month, Netanyahu said Israel was ready to “single-handedly turn Beirut and southern Lebanon, not far from here, into Gaza.”

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