US envoy Hochstein faces resistance from Hezbollah: No negotiations without Gaza truce

Press Highlights
2024-03-09 | 01:47
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US envoy Hochstein faces resistance from Hezbollah: No negotiations without Gaza truce
US envoy Hochstein faces resistance from Hezbollah: No negotiations without Gaza truce

Hezbollah did not find justification for the sudden visit of the US envoy Amos Hochstein, except to fulfill Israel's demand to alleviate its "painful" strikes on the Israeli interior. 

This article was originally published in, translated from Lebanese newspaper Nidaa Al-Watan.

The Lebanese position has not changed, so what prompted him to come, as the truce has yet to mature?

Upon careful examination and based on the information, it became clear that Hochstein changed his discourse and modified his proposals. 

Initially linking the southern front to a ceasefire in Gaza, he backed down, speaking about the possibility of separating the two fronts, stating that Israel distinguishes between these two fronts. 

If the party does not commit to this separation and continues its operations against them, the possibility of war is imminent at any moment.

The American envoy realized that negotiations for a truce in Gaza are long and complicated, necessitating reaching an agreement regarding the southern front separately. He hinted that Israel may not include the south in this ceasefire when announced. 

He advised seizing the opportunity and starting negotiations on delineating the southern borders. 

Informed sources told Nidaa Al-Watan that the US envoy attempted to get a "comprehensive" answer from Hezbollah regarding the southern front, presenting several offers: Political ones related to the presidency and military ones related to de-escalation and border delineation. 

However, Hezbollah had one direct response, rejecting any negotiations of any kind before the Israeli aggression on Gaza stopped.

In the information, Hochstein's visit came against the backdrop of the significant escalation that forced the party to respond with "painful" strikes against Israel. 

The American envoy stated that the goal is to return to the situation before the seventh of October without mentioning the withdrawal of the Radwan Force or other conditions he previously mentioned in earlier visits. 

Hezbollah sensed a change in tone and a retreat in demands, where the crucial point became stopping the war from the southern front at any cost.

Hochstein's proposals did not receive a response from Hezbollah, which entered the front in support of Gaza, as it will not be able to retreat or accept negotiations regarding the southern front while the war on Gaza continues, realizing that the discussions are difficult and complex and may not lead to a near agreement.

Still, it will continue the confrontation, prepared for all possibilities.

It treats what the American envoy said as mere exaggeration, ruling out the possibility of Israel launching a wide-scale war on Lebanon. 

On its part, it will commit, in the event of a truce, to halting its strikes from the southern front, expecting that Israel will comply and cease its attacks. 

If it does not, Hezbollah will be compelled to respond, even though it asserts, according to the sources, that it does not want war and does not seek it.

In both cases, whether warning of war or pressure to separate the south from Gaza, the proposals of the US envoy are "non-negotiable."

His talk about the expansion of the war falls into the category of exaggeration that international envoys have been accustomed to since the beginning of the war. 

The party insists on rejecting any discussion regarding the borders or alignment with any international offer unless the Israeli war on Gaza stops. 

It confirms that reaching a possible truce agreement can initiate discussions in subsequent stages; otherwise, the situation on the front cannot stop for any reason.

The party insists on maintaining the connection between the two fronts as long as the south remains a supporting front for Gaza, and its "continuation" is a duty as long as the war on Gaza persists. 

However, concurrently, it emphasizes that this front's tensions will cease when a ceasefire is declared in Gaza unless Israel insists on continuing its aggression and launching strikes on the south. 

In that case, the response will be inevitable, possibly leading to an open confrontation.

Hezbollah does not want war and does not seek it, but if Israel wants it, it will engage in it and open the door to confrontation. However, it estimates that Israel will commit to the truce and apply it to Lebanon, given its inability to expand the front and the US pressures exerted on it.

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