| 21 June 2024, Friday |

Does Hochstein carry a new swap between “Hezbollah” and “Israel”?

When the specter of the American envoy for energy security affairs, Amos Hochstein, looms on the media horizon, it is necessary to recall the tours that the latter made when he held negotiations during the phase of demarcating the maritime borders, through which Israel scored the first goal in the Lebanese goal through the official recognition of obtaining the right to explore the Karish field.

A source examining Hochstein’s move confirmed that the latter’s visit to Lebanon went beyond the framework of leaks and became a reality, after the date of the visit that would precede the return of French presidential envoy Jean-Yves Le Drian was set.

As for the visit of the American envoy, he had previously visited “Israel” in the middle of last month, when he cut off his participation in the NATO summit alongside US President Joe Biden, to go to Tel Aviv to meet with Israeli officials to ease the tension that arose as a result of what was known as the issue of the two tents belonging to Hezbollah.

On that day, he met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a number of security leaders, and the Israeli newspapers indicated at the time that the United States made an offer to Israel according to which “Hezbollah” agrees to remove the remaining tent at the border in exchange for the occupation army stopping the construction of the security barrier that it started in the village of Ghajar, which it extended towards Lebanese territory. Noting that the Lebanese army, represented by the coordinator of the Lebanese government with UNIFIL forces, Brigadier General P.S.C. Mounir Shehadeh, confirmed during a field tour of the representatives of the member states of the Security Council along the Blue Line that “from today onwards, the term north of Ghajar is not used, but rather south of Mari, being a southern Lebanese town.” Consequently, Israel occupied part of the south of the town,” stressing that the word “land demarcation” does not exist in the army’s dictionary, and the Lebanese government talks about fixing and showing borders, not demarcating them.

According to the source, Hochstein’s visit cannot be separated from the shifting tensions and movements made by the “Israeli army” and Hezbollah “during the past months, which did not develop into a military confrontation, and this matter paved the way for Hochstein’s return to play another negotiating role that includes him to his success in demarcating the maritime borders.”

The visit of the American envoy raises many questions, according to the source, about what he carries in his bag, which cannot be included in the framework of reassurance on the progress of the excavation process in Block (9), since the Lebanese position announced by the Lebanese army before the member states of the Security Council set the basic lines for any operation Negotiations may take place, and who will take over them in light of a resigned government and a vacuum at the level of the presidency of the republic.

Although the Lebanese Foreign Minister, Abdullah Bou Habib, had previously confirmed weeks ago, “that the American ambassador to Lebanon, Dorothy Shea, is managing a series of contacts with government and security officials to confirm the maritime demarcation agreement, and to launch the land demarcation workshop that will include Lebanon and Syria in the future, and she is also preparing for a working visit that she will conduct with the envoy Hochstein to Beirut in a few weeks.

Here, the question must be asked about the trade-off that might take place between “Israel” and Lebanon through the American mediator. Has Lebanon approached Berri’s “Karish” and who is the beneficiary!?

  • Sawt Beirut International