US President Joe Biden urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to halt a pre-emptive strike against Hezbollah in Lebanon days after Hamas’s Oct. 7 assault, Wall Street Journal cited officials.
Israel had intelligence – the US deemed unreliable – that Hezbollah attackers were preparing to cross the border as part of a multipronged attack, pushing some of Israel’s more hawkish officials to the brink, officials said.
The Journal reported that Israeli warplanes were in the air awaiting orders when Biden spoke to Netanyahu on Oct. 11, according to the Arab World Press.
US officials reportedly first learned of Israel’s intent for a preemptive strike on the morning of Oct. 11 when Israeli representatives urgently informed the White House of a suspected Hezbollah assault.
Acknowledging the need for assistance, Israel sought American backing for its proposed action, according to the officials.
Following further discussions and meetings, six hours later – according to the report – Israel abandoned the preemptive attack and essentially accepted the American assessment that there was no evidence of an imminent Hezbollah attack.