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Diplomatic efforts amidst regional tensions

Mar 10,2024 - Last updated at Mar 10,2024

There is no doubt that the humanitarian crisis in Gaza is putting more pressure on the international community to find solutions. The recent air-drops of aid will inevitably raise the need for more practical solutions to address this dire situation. Consideration of practical solutions may lead to the exploration of new avenues, such as establishing a rescue route from Cyprus to Gaza, which could mark a new phase in aiding the situation in Gaza.

The war in Gaza may not reach a conclusion without a clear vision of how post-war will look like. Therefore, discussions about a Palestinian technocrat government or the need for a political package starting with the recognition of a Palestinian state are undoubtedly important, but on-the-ground security concerns for Israel will always remain paramount. The current situation in Lebanon may prompt the consideration of another front to secure Israel and respond to threats originating from southern Lebanon.

From an Israeli security perspective, they will demand an end to the serious threats that they have endured over the past years, especially after the events of October 7. Therefore, unresolved issues regarding security cannot be left unaddressed. Neither a temporary truce, nor a temporary solution may suffice in this case, which is why Israelis are advocating for the implementation of Resolution 1701 or calling for international intervention in Lebanon to compel Hizbollah to comply with this resolution. However, the situation is escalating, both in Lebanon and Israel, and taking on new dimensions.

Recent events, such as the evacuation of a large number of Lebanese from border areas towards Beirut, and the looming risk of Israeli retaliation for continuous attacks, highlight the urgency of the situation. While efforts are concentrated on humanitarian rescue plans, the likelihood of greater escalation in Lebanon increases, especially given the priority Israel places on its security concerns, particularly along its borders.

The efforts by the US and other international players to find diplomatic solutions have been extensive. However, the problem is not confined to the Lebanese scene but extends to the broader regional context, from Iran to Syria, and includes Lebanon. The pressure on Hizbollah today represents a significant challenge for Lebanese politics and raises the risks of a devastating war that neither side may be willing to initiate at this stage.

Every passing day intensifies the need for humanitarian and practical solutions on various fronts, mainly Gaza, West Bank and Lebanon. While priorities might change in Gaza, putting the humanitarian issue at the top of any agenda, heightening tensions along the Israel-Lebanon border might also increase. The continuous operations by Israel in Syria and Lebanon underscores the urgency of finding a diplomatic and political solution. Without the withdrawal of Hizbollah and a stronger presence or a revised mandate for the UN in southern Lebanon, the likelihood is that clashes will continue to increase, making the prospect of war imminent and difficult to avoid.

In conclusion, diplomatic efforts to contain the situation in Lebanon must be intensified, as failure to do so could lead to dire consequences, similar to the situation in Yemen, where the option of war may become the only viable recourse for the parties involved.

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