Photo Credit: Official White House Photo by Cameron Smith
President Joe Biden walks with Senior Adviser for Energy Security Amos Hochstein, left, and Deputy Chief of Staff Bruce Reed, January 23, 2023, in the Center Hall of the White House.

Last week, Amos Hochstein, President Biden’s envoy, visited Beirut and delivered a stark message to Lebanese officials. According to Axios, citing a US official, an Israeli official, and a Western diplomat familiar with the matter, Hochstein warned that Hezbollah’s assumption about US intervention to prevent an Israeli invasion of Lebanon is misguided, particularly if the militia continues its attacks on Israel’s north.

Meanwhile, US officials are growing increasingly worried about the potential for a wider conflict. They fear that without a ceasefire in Gaza, the likelihood of war between Israel and Hezbollah is rising. Such an escalation would significantly worsen the regional crisis and potentially draw the United States more deeply into the conflict.


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday announced that the intense phase of military operations in Gaza is approaching its conclusion. He also suggested that Israel is preparing to shift its attention to the threat posed by Hezbollah. In response, the United States is working to prevent the escalating tensions along Israel’s northern border with Lebanon from erupting into another full-scale conflict.

According to Politico, two US officials have indicated that the Biden administration is committed to supporting Israel’s defense against Hezbollah in any scenario. This support ranges from restocking Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system to sharing intelligence. The officials further stated that if Israel faces a severe threat, such as major cities coming under heavy rocket and missile attacks from Hezbollah, the US might consider offering more direct military assistance.

“Israel’s gotta do what they gotta do,” a Defense Department official told Politico.

State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller was asked on Monday, “Will the US support Israel in case of a full-scale war breaks with Hizballah?” and answered: “We don’t want to see further escalation. We don’t want to see a full-scale war with Hizballah. We think there ought to be a diplomatic resolution to the conflict across the Israel-Lebanon border that is keeping tens of thousands of families on each side of the border from returning to their homes. And so, what we will continue to press to the Government of Israel is that we don’t want to see further escalation, and actually, as I’ve said – as I said earlier, achieving a ceasefire in Gaza will help achieve a diplomatic resolution in the north.”

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is hosting Defense Minister Yoav Gallant in Washington on Tuesday. Their meeting agenda includes discussions on two critical issues: the ongoing conflict with Hamas in Gaza and the escalating tensions along Israel’s northern border with Lebanon.

On Monday, Gallant’s office released a statement indicating that he had engaged in discussions with American officials regarding the transition in Gaza and its regional implications, particularly concerning Lebanon.

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