Home News Israeli Defense Minister Rejects French Efforts to End Israel-Hezbollah Fight

Israeli Defense Minister Rejects French Efforts to End Israel-Hezbollah Fight

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As part of any diplomatic solution with Hezbollah, Israel demands that Hezbollah withdraw its forces north of the Litani River in Lebanon, in accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolutions The resolution, which ended the 2006 war between the two sides, states that only UN forces and the Lebanese army are allowed into the area, but both sides accuse the other of violating the resolution.

Analysts say Hezbollah is unlikely to withdraw its troops from the border. French mediators have suggested creating a smaller buffer zone extending about six miles beyond Lebanon’s border with Israel and increasing the number of Lebanese troops stationed in the border area.

With no agreement to halt attacks, both sides have opted for limited escalation, with Hezbollah firing hundreds of rockets and Israel pushing deep into Lebanon. While neither Israel nor Hezbollah appears to want an all-out war, miscalculations could lead to one, analysts and officials say.

Israeli forces killed a senior Hezbollah commander in an attack in southern Lebanon on Tuesday, prompting Hezbollah to respond with its heaviest rocket barrage into Israel in the current conflict.

On Friday, Hezbollah fired another 70 rockets, triggering sirens in northern Israel, but the rockets did not cause much damage, according to the Israeli military, which said it responded with artillery fire.

According to a Lebanese security official, the rockets were in response to an overnight Israeli attack on a three-story building in southern Lebanon that killed two people. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said there was no indication that a Hezbollah commander had been killed in the attack. The Israeli military declined to comment on the attack.

On Thursday, Hezbollah attacks wounded four people in Israel, including two soldiers. Falling rockets, Israeli interceptors and shrapnel have also sparked wildfires that have burned more than 11,000 acres of land in Israel over the past two weeks, according to the Israel Nature and Parks Authority.

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