An Israeli air strike on a Hezbollah target in South Lebanon, May 5, 2024

US Reassures Israel of Support Amid Rising Tensions with Hezbollah

Saturday, 06/22/2024

Senior US officials assured top Israeli diplomats that the Biden administration stands ready to support Israel if a full-scale war erupts on its northern border with Iran-backed Hezbollah, according to a CNN report Friday.

This comes amid escalating cross-border attacks that have heightened fears of another major conflict in the Middle East.

In a series of high-stakes meetings in Washington this week, the delegation of Israeli officials, which included Minister of Strategic Affairs Ron Dermer and National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi, engaged in discussions with key figures in the Biden administration such as National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and White House Middle East Affairs Coordinator Brett McGurk.

Sources cited by CNN said that the discussions included “the situation on Israel’s northern border, Iran, and the ceasefire and hostage negotiations.”

A senior administration official told CNN that the US reiterated its commitment to providing the necessary security assistance to Israel, though it clarified that American troops would not be deployed on the ground.

Lebanon's Iran-backed Hezbollah has launched rockets into Israel in solidarity with Hamas, leading to the displacement of tens of thousands of people in northern Israel.

In response, US officials have repeatedly called for diplomatic efforts to prevent a full-scale war on Israel's northern front. This week, US envoy Amos Hochstein was dispatched to the region to assist in de-escalation efforts.

US officials expect the Netanyahu government to respond with full force if Hezbollah significantly expands the scope of its attacks on Israel that result in Israeli casualties.

The reassurances also come amidst a public dispute between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the U.S., with Netanyahu accusing the U.S. of withholding military supplies. The face-to-face meetings in Washington aimed to address these tensions and reaffirm the strong U.S.-Israel alliance.

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