Paris mediates 'reduction' in Hezbollah-Israel confrontation amidst regional tensions, Gaza truce talks

Press Highlights
2024-03-21 | 01:33
High views
Paris mediates 'reduction' in Hezbollah-Israel confrontation amidst regional tensions, Gaza truce talks
Paris mediates 'reduction' in Hezbollah-Israel confrontation amidst regional tensions, Gaza truce talks

European diplomatic sources revealed that the reduction in confrontation levels in recent days between Hezbollah and Israel along the northern front, contrary to previous situations, is not due to adverse weather conditions.

Instead, it comes to the responsiveness of both parties to the mediation undertaken by the head of France's foreign intelligence, Nicolas Lerner, during his visit to Beirut. 

This article was originally published in and translated from the Arab outlet Asharq Al-Awsat.

This visit included a meeting with a prominent figure in the party as part of his series of meetings with Lebanese officials, both political and security-related. 

These discussions primarily focused on the post-truce phase in the Gaza front, in case the American-Egyptian-Qatari mediation succeeds, with the hope that it will extend to southern Lebanon.

European diplomatic sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that mere indirect agreement on reducing tensions in southern Lebanon, from Paris' perspective, would push towards de-escalation, which is expected to start in Gaza and automatically extend to the northern front. 

This reinforces the predominance of diplomatic solutions over military ones, despite the threats issued by the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and the war cabinet members. These threats stem from the fact that the Gaza truce does not necessarily extend to southern Lebanon.

According to diplomatic sources, agreeing to reduce tension levels could pave the way for prioritizing political solutions by implementing Resolution 1701, as it is the sole regulator for delineating the land borders between Lebanon and Israel. 

Lerner addressed in his meetings, whether official or with prominent figures in Hezbollah, the document prepared by France and deposited with the Lebanese government, which noted its observations without negatively engaging with its contents.

The sources pointed out that merely agreeing on reducing tension levels means that Tel Aviv would be compelled to positively engage with it, leading to a reduction in military solutions that Netanyahu and his war cabinet continue to threaten with.

Lerner discussed in his official meetings, which included the Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati and Army Commander General Joseph Aoun, providing all forms of support to the military institution to enable it, alongside UNIFIL, to deploy in the southern Litani area. 

This would be accompanied by opening the door to voluntary contributions to secure the required number of troops to implement Resolution 1701.

According to Asharq Al-Awsat, diplomatic sources believe that the Gaza truce will extend to southern Lebanon, and Hezbollah will adhere to it, not seeking to act independently during its duration to support the Hamas movement in its war with Israel.

This has been communicated to Arab and international parties that maintain communication with Hezbollah. 

The party has no intention of expanding the war and is seriously considering the advice against allowing Israel to drag it into escalation, requiring it to control its response to Israel's attempts to escalate in response to its airstrikes in Lebanese territory.

The sources affirmed that Hezbollah reciprocates in its response by targeting areas deep inside Israel, striving to control its conduct in the escalating confrontation without veering towards unbridled military escalation. 

This is to keep the battle under control in preparation for dealing with the post-truce phase on the Gaza front. 

However, it occasionally sends messages to Israel that the confrontation remains subject to a "balance of terror" despite often being the first to surpass the rules of engagement established since the issuance of Resolution 1701, which was behind halting military operations without transforming into a comprehensive ceasefire.

The question remains: How long will the reduction in confrontation levels continue in southern Lebanon? Are the conditions favorable for implementing Resolution 1701, which has been stalled since the outbreak of the July 2006 war? And how will the international community act if mediation leads to imposing a truce on the Gaza front? 

Additionally, what is France's readiness to play a role in implementing Resolution 1701, especially as it constitutes a "spearhead" among the international forces of UNIFIL operating in southern Litani?

Lebanon News

Press Highlights

Middle East News

Israel-Gaza War Updates








Nicolas Lerner



Resolution 1701



Breakthrough or gesture? Understanding Wafiq Safa's UAE visit
Lebanese government to provide compensation for victims of Israeli attacks
LBCI Previous
Download now the LBCI mobile app
To see the latest news, the latest daily programs in Lebanon and the world
Google Play
App Store
We use
We use cookies to make
your experience on this
website better.
Learn More