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Top Biden adviser visits Beirut as Israel, Hezbollah near all-out war

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Senior Biden adviser Amos Hochstein will visit Beirut, Lebanon, on Thursday to meet with officials in an effort to prevent Israeli-Hezbollah tensions from spilling into an all-out war.

Hochstein has been in the region meeting with Israeli officials for more than a week as tensions have grown red-hot. He will now meet with Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati and other officials to discuss how the country can secure its border and prevent Hezbollah attacks on Israel.

Hezbollah is an Iran-backed terrorist organization that operates in Lebanon. The group has launched hundreds of missiles and rockets into Israel since the IDF began its campaign against Hamas following the October 7 terror attack that killed more than 1,200 Israelis.

Israel has been forced to evacuate towns along its northern border with Lebanon, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned that an invasion may be imminent if Hezbollah does not cease hostilities.

A senior Hezbollah commander said the terrorist organization does not want an expanded war with Israel Tuesday, but attacks on Israeli targets have continued.

Hezbollah claimed that a Tuesday attack was in retribution for an Israeli strike that killed Wissam al-Tawil, who commanded Hezbollah’s Radwan forces.

Hezbollah deputy leader Naim Qassem released a televised speech stating that his group does not seek an all-out war with Israel, ‘but if Israel expands it, the response is inevitable to the maximum extent required to deter Israel.’

Netanyahu vowed on Monday that his government would do ‘anything’ to bring back security for Israel.

‘Hezbollah made a serious mistake about us in 2006, and is doing so again now. It thinks that we are weak as a spiderweb, and now sees what kind of spider we are,’ Netanyahu said while visiting soldiers at the northern border. ‘It sees here enormous power, national unity, and determination to do whatever is necessary to bring security back to the north, and I tell you that this is my policy.’

‘We naturally prefer that there be no large scale conflict, but that will not stop us,’ he added. ‘We have given Hezbollah an example of what happened to its friends in the south, and that is what will happen here in the north. We will do anything to bring back security.’

When top Hamas commander Saleh al-Arouri was killed in Beirut, Lebanon, last week, Hezbollah’s chief claimed the organization was ready for war. Netanyahu adviser Ambassador Mark Regev told MSNBC that ‘Israel has not taken responsibility for this attack,’ but noted the ‘surgical’ nature of the strike.

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