Netanyahu Vows Strong Action on Lebanon Border: US Embassy Attacked in Beirut

Fighting between the Israeli army and Lebanon's pro-Iranian Hezbollah has escalated in recent days

by Sededin Dedovic
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Netanyahu Vows Strong Action on Lebanon Border: US Embassy Attacked in Beirut
© Sean Gallup / Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said today that his country is ready for strong action in the north, on the border with Lebanon, news agencies report. "Anyone who thinks they can hurt us and that we will sit idly by is making a big mistake.

We are ready for very strong action in the north. One way or another, we will restore security there," Netanyahu said in northern Israel near the so-called Blue Line, which has separated Lebanon from Israel since 2000. Earlier this week, the Israeli army and emergency services extinguished large fires caused by rockets fired from southern Lebanon into Israel.

Fighting between the Israeli army and the Lebanese pro-Iranian Hezbollah has escalated in recent days, according to Israeli media reports. "The land was burning yesterday, and I am happy you put out the fire, but the land was also burning in Lebanon," Netanyahu said.

Israeli soldiers have been exchanging fire almost daily with Hezbollah members and other anti-Israel forces since the beginning of the war in the south in the Gaza Strip against Palestinian Hamas. In cross-border conflicts, 400 people have been killed in Lebanon, mostly fighters, but also 70 civilians.

In Israel, 15 soldiers and ten civilians have been killed. Months of fighting between Hezbollah militants and Israeli troops have displaced thousands of Lebanese citizens along the border.

US Embassy Attacked

An armed man attempted to attack the US embassy near Beirut, after which he was captured by Lebanese soldiers.

The attack occurred as tensions continued to simmer in the small Mediterranean country, where months of fighting between Hezbollah militants and Israeli troops have displaced thousands of citizens along the border, following years of political deadlock and economic difficulties.

The Lebanese army said in a statement that soldiers shot the attacker, whom they described only as a Syrian national. The attacker was wounded and taken to the hospital. The motives of the armed man were unclear. However, Lebanese media published photos seemingly showing a bloody attacker in a black vest with "Islamic State" written in Arabic and the English initials "I" and "S." Earlier, local media reported that in the suburb of Aukar, north of Beirut, gunfire at the American diplomatic mission lasted for nearly half an hour.

US Embassy Attack in Lebanon LIVE Screenshot© Firstpost / Youtube channel

A Lebanese security official told the AP that four attackers were involved, including one who drove the armed assailants to the location and three who opened fire.

On Tuesday, Israeli Chief of General Staff Herzi Halevi said that Israel is ready for an offensive along the northern border with Lebanon and that a decision is approaching. Hezbollah previously stated that it does not seek a broader conflict but is ready for any war imposed on it.

The deputy leader of the Shiite organization, Sheikh Naim Qassem, told Al Jazeera that the Lebanese front will not stop until the war in Gaza ends.

Purchase of F-35s Amid Peace Negotiations

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said that the acquisition of a third squadron of F-35 aircraft "reflects the strength of the strategic partnership between Israel and the USA." Israel has agreed to purchase 25 American F-35 fighter jets, the Israeli Defense Ministry confirmed today.

The Ministry stated that this is the third squadron of Lockheed Martin fighter jets to be integrated into the Israeli armed forces. The Israeli Air Force will have 75 of these "invisible" aircraft. Delivery is expected to begin in 2028, with three to five aircraft per year.

The planes will cost Israel about three billion dollars. Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said that the acquisition of the third squadron of F-35 aircraft "reflects the strength of the strategic partnership between Israel and the USA."

Yoav Gallant© Amir Levy / Getty Images

Amid the heavy destruction in the Gaza Strip, there are regular international protests against American arms shipments to Israel.

Last month, US President Joe Biden threatened to suspend the delivery of some types of weapons if Israel invades densely populated urban centers in Rafah in southern Gaza. Since the start of the war in Gaza, Israeli armed forces have heavily relied on American weapons, the news portal Axios reported.

Gallant promised in a letter to the US government that American weapons would be used in accordance with international law. US President Joe Biden said that the Israeli people and public have reason to believe that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is prolonging the war in Gaza for political reasons.

"There is every reason for people to draw such a conclusion," Biden told Time. In an interview with Time, Biden assessed that an agreement to normalize relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia "would be predominantly in our interest." "I have met with all the families.

But we do not have definitive proof of who is exactly alive," the US President said. When asked if Israel committed war crimes in Gaza, Biden replied, "It's uncertain." Netanyahu has long faced such and similar criticisms, especially in recent days after far-right coalition partners threatened to topple his government if the Israeli Prime Minister proceeds with the hostage agreement he approved last week, which could potentially lead to an end to the war in Gaza.

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