Photo Credit: Ariel Hermoni / Israel Ministry of Defense
US envoy Amos Hochstein and Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant in Tel Aviv on Jan. 4, 2024

Senior US presidential adviser Amos Hochstein arrived Monday morning in Beirut for meetings with senior Lebanese officials.

Hochstein is visiting Beirut as part of diplomatic efforts to end the ongoing exchanges of fire between Hezbollah and Israel.


The envoy met with Lebanese Parliamentary Speaker Nabih Berri, an ally of Hezbollah, in the afternoon hours.

Speaking with reporters after the meeting with Berri, Hochstein warned that a ceasefire (temporary or otherwise) in Gaza would not necessarily end the rising hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah, an Iranian proxy along Lebanon’s southern border with the Jewish State.

“The United States remains committed to advancing lasting security solutions achieved through diplomatic process,” Hochstein said. “I’m mindful that my arrival comes on the heels of a tense few weeks on both sides of the border. An escalation will certainly not help Lebanon rebuild and advance forward at this critical time in Lebanon’s history,” he reminded.

Hochstein emphasized the risk of an escalation in the conflict, noting that once a war between Israel and Hezbollah breaks out, it may be impossible to “contain,” as he put it.

“A temporary ceasefire is not enough. A limited war is not containable and the security paradigm along the Blue Line has to change in order to guarantee everyone’s security,” Hochstein told reporters.

At least 80,000 Israelis were evacuated from their homes in communities along the border with Lebanon due to the risk of rocket fire and other attacks from Hezbollah that have been taking place daily since Gaza’s Iranian proxy, Hamas, launched its war against Israel on October 7, 2023.

On that day, some 3,000 Hamas-led terrorists invaded Israel, torturing and slaughtering some 1,200 people while abducting 253 others who were dragged into Gaza as hostages.

Hochstein added that it is not necessary “that when you have a ceasefire in Gaza, it automatically extends. That is why we are here today, to be able to have a conversation and discussions” on the issue.

The United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1701 as a ceasefire agreement to end the 34-day July 2006 Second Lebanon War between Israel and Hezbollah. However, the resolution that required Hezbollah and other armed groups to remain north of the Litani River, 20 kilometers from Lebanon’s border with Israel, was never enforced.

It is currently believed that southern Lebanon is honeycombed with hundreds of miles of subterranean passages built 20 or more meters deeper than those of Gaza, which reach up to 50 meters in depth.

Israel has vowed to push Hezbollah back to its mandated location north of the Litani River, either through diplomatic efforts, or if necessary “in other ways” so that residents of northern Israel can return home safely.


Previous articleIAF Makes History, Appoints First Woman to Command Ovda Air Base
Next articleShin Bet Thwarts ISIS-Style Attacks by Hebron Terrorists
Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.