update deskIsrael at War

Israel tells US it wants Hezbollah distanced from border—report

Israel wants the Iran-backed terror group pushed back some 6 miles from the border to prevent an Oct. 7-style attack, according to Axios.

Pictured L-R: IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant discuss the ongoing war in Tel Aviv on Dec. 18, 2023. Photo by Kobi Gideon/GPO.
Pictured L-R: IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant discuss the ongoing war in Tel Aviv on Dec. 18, 2023. Photo by Kobi Gideon/GPO.

Israel has informed the Biden administration that it wants Hezbollah‘s terrorist army pushed back some 6 miles from the Israel-Lebanon border as part of a diplomatic deal, Axios reported on Monday, citing three U.S. and Israeli officials.

The Lebanese terror group’s escalations at the border since Oct. 7 were reportedly one of the main topics discussed during Monday’s meeting in Tel Aviv between U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.

Israeli and U.S. officials told Axios that Netanyahu and Gallant told Austin Jerusalem wants a deal that pushes the Iranian-backed terror group far enough from the border so that they cannot threaten Israeli communities in the north, including by launching an Oct. 7-style attack.

Tens of thousands of Israelis in the north have been internally displaced since Hezbollah escalated its cross-border attacks after Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack.

U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701, which ended 2006’s Second Lebanon War, barred Hezbollah from maintaining a military presence south of the Litani River, which is located some 18 miles north of the border.

For its part, the United States is concerned with preventing the widening of the Israel-Hamas war into a regional conflict involving Hezbollah and other Iranian terror proxies and has been pursuing diplomatic solutions to the situation at the Israel-Lebanon border, according to the report.

According to the Axios sources, Austin told Netanyahu and Gallant that the Biden administration understands Israel’s concerns about the Hezbollah threat at the border but needs time to work out a diplomatic resolution, and asked Israel not to take steps that exacerbate the situation.

Netanyahu and Gallant said that they were willing to give the U.S. time to work on a diplomatic situation, but that the timeframe for progress was measured in weeks.

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