New war is coming – UN

The dire warning comes amid rising tensions between Israel and Lebanon’s Hezbollah

The world is on the brink of a catastrophe, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said on Friday, pointing to the risks of a potential devastating conflict between Israel and Hezbollah.

The head of the Shia militia, Hassan Nasrallah, warned on Wednesday that Hezbollah is prepared for a full-scale conflict with West Jerusalem and could invade the Jewish state’s northern territories in case of further escalation. The statement came after one of the group’s senior commanders, Hajj Sami Taleb Abdullah, was killed in an Israeli strike on southern Lebanon last week.

“One rash move – one miscalculation – could trigger a catastrophe that goes far beyond the border, and frankly, beyond imagination,” the UN secretary general told reporters at a press conference, adding that “the world cannot afford Lebanon to become another Gaza.” He called on both sides to “urgently recommit” to peace.

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‘No place’ is safe if Israel starts war – Hezbollah

“The world must say loudly and clearly: immediate de-escalation is not only possible – it is essential,” Guterres said. “There is no military solution,” he said, adding that many people had already lost their lives or had been driven from their homes both in Lebanon and Israel.

The UN peacekeepers on the ground are already “working to de-escalate tensions and help prevent miscalculation, in an extremely challenging environment,” Guterres added, without providing any specific details.

Rocket exchanges between Israel and Hezbollah have driven more than 53,000 Israelis and almost 100,000 Lebanese from their homes over the past nine months.

Earlier this week, the Jewish state’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz warned that West Jerusalem was “very close” to a decision that would “change the rules of the game” against the Shia militia.

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US officials say Netanyahu hampering efforts to decrease Hezbollah tensions – Axios

The US has reportedly grown “increasingly concerned” over the prospect of the ongoing Israel-Hamas war turning into a larger Middle East conflict, involving Hezbollah and potentially American troops. Several anonymous White House officials accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a talk with Axios this week of hampering de-escalation efforts with his claims that Washington was “withholding weapons from Israel.”

Israel launched a major military operation in Gaza last October, in response to a deadly attack by Hamas that claimed the lives of some 1,200 people and saw 251 taken captive. A nine-month offensive by the Jewish state, which involved heavy bombing and a ground invasion of Gaza, has claimed the lives of 37,500 Palestinians, according to the local authorities.

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