Israel’s Defence Minister says strikes will increase againt Hezbollah

Yoav Gallant’s words come as the White House resumes talks to bring Israeli officials to Washington to discuss Rafah offensive.

Israel’s Defence Minister Yoav Gallant says military will expand campaign

Hinting at Israel’s alleged overnight airstrike in Syria, Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said the military will “expand the campaign and increase the rate of attacks in the north” following an assessment at the IDF Northern Command in Safed.

“Israel is turning from defending to pursuing Hezbollah, we will reach wherever the organization operates, in Beirut, Damascus and in more distant places,” Gallant added

His comments come days after a top Hezbollah commander was killed in an IDF drone strike in southern Lebanon, and five other Hezbollah terrorists were killed in a strike in Aleppo, Syria.

According to Syrian sources about 40 people were killed in the strike. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitor, said 36 Syrian troops, seven Hezbollah fighters and a Syrian member of an Iran-backed group died, and dozens of people were wounded, calling it the deadliest such attack in years.

Talks resume about bringing top Israeli officials to Washington

Discussions have restarted aimed at bringing top Israeli officials to Washington to discuss potential military operations in Gaza, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cancelled a planned visit this week because he was angry about the U.S vote on a UN cease-fire resolution, the White House said Wednesday.

“So we’re now working with them to find a convenient date that’s obviously going to work for both sides,” said press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

No date has been finalized yet. One US official said strategic affairs minister Ron Dermer and national security adviser Tzachi Hanegbi would be among the delegation to come to Washington. The official was not authorised to speak publicly about the sensitive discussions and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

An Israeli official said the White House had reached out to set a new meeting. The official was not authorised to talk to the media and spoke on condition of anonymity. Netanyahu’s office said the prime minister “did not authorise the departure of the delegation to Washington.”

The delegation to the US was meant to discuss a promised ground invasion of the southern Gaza city of Rafah, which is overflowing with displaced civilians. Israel has so far rejected American appeals to call off the planned operation.

Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant was already in Washington by the time Netanyahu cancelled the trip by other officials. Gallant met with Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin. The Gaza operation was one of many topics they discussed.

Netanyahu on Wednesday said his decision to cancel was meant to deliver a message to Hamas that international pressure against Israel will not prompt it to end the war without concessions from the militant group, an apparent attempt to smooth over the clash between the allies.

(Source: Euronews)