In Lebanon, which is mired in economic crisis, there are growing fears that the country will be drawn into a war between Israel and Hamas. According to the Israeli authorities, it could have disastrous consequences for him. The Washington Post writes about the situation in Lebanon during Israel’s war with the Palestinian Hamas. Meanwhile, on Sunday evening, Hezbollah, operating from Lebanese territory, announced that it had shot down an Israeli drone. For the first time since the conflict escalated.
Operating in Lebanon armed groups, including Hezbollah and the local wing of Hamas, have long been involved in clashes with Israeli troops on the Lebanese-Israeli border. Western countries are calling on the Lebanese authorities to avoid escalation, but Hezbollah does not rule out intensifying its actions against Israel.
“All Western countries are talking to us, sending their ambassadors saying that Hezbollah cannot join the war,” a Lebanese official told the Washington Post, speaking on condition of anonymity. Lebanon responds to these appeals with a demand that USA influenced Israel to halt its ground invasion of the Gaza Strip.
“As a government, we tell (Hezbollah – ed.) that ‘we cannot afford war’. His response is: ‘We understand you, but we cannot accept the fall of Hamas,'” says a Lebanese official.
According to an American newspaper, life in Lebanon has virtually stopped. Restaurants, hotels and bars were deserted, clubs canceled events in an act of solidarity with the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip. At the same time, fears are growing that if Hezbollah joins the war, Lebanon will be destroyed, just like Gaza.
Hezbollah ‘is part of this fight’
Hamas representatives expressed hope for Hezbollah’s increased involvement in the fighting that began after the brutal attack on Israel on Saturday, October 7. “We expected much greater involvement than what is happening. We call on them to continue to participate,” said Musa Abu Marzuk, a member of the Hamas political bureau, on October 16.
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has not spoken publicly since the October 7 attack, and as the days pass his silence becomes more and more significant, according to the Washington Post. His deputy, Naim Kassem, said that despite calls to refrain from involvement, Hezbollah “is part of this fight” and if greater involvement is needed, Hezbollah will do so.
One Western official told the Washington Post that contact had been made with Lebanese officials and Hezbollah to persuade them to “refrain from any kind of escalation at the border and generally keep Lebanon out of the conflict in the Gaza Strip.” . He added that Lebanon and its people “cannot afford a new conflict in the face of state collapse and the dire economic situation.”
Hezbollah shot down an Israeli drone
Meanwhile, on Sunday evening, Hezbollah said it shot down an Israeli drone over southern Lebanon using a surface-to-air missile.
Hezbollah added that the drone was hit near the town of Al-Khiyam, about 5 kilometers from the border with Israel. It was later seen falling into Israeli territory. Two security sources in Lebanon said it was the first time Hezbollah announced it had shot down an Israeli drone since the conflict began to escalate.
Main photo source: PAP/EPA/WAEL HAMZEH