US Envoy Says a Truce in Gaza Will ‘Not Necessarily’ Extend to Lebanon

Israel has threatened to escalate in Lebanon if there's a temporary ceasefire in Gaza as part of a hostage deal

US Special Envoy Amos Hochstein said on Monday that a truce in Gaza will “not necessarily” extend to Lebanon as Israel and Hezbollah continue to trade fire across the border.

“It does not necessarily happen that when you have a ceasefire in Gaza, it just automatically extends,” Hochstein said after meeting with Lebanese officials in Beirut.

Sources close to Hezbollah have said they would likely halt attacks on Israel if there were a truce in Gaza, but Israel has sent the opposite message. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant threatened Israel would escalate attacks in Lebanon if a temporary ceasefire was reached in Gaza as part of a hostage deal.

Hochstein, who was born in Israel and served in the Israeli Defense Forces, has been tasked with brokering a deal between Israel and Hezbollah. But the US does not directly talk with Hezbollah, and the Lebanese government has not been happy with proposals put forward by the US and France, which call for Hezbollah to withdraw from the Israeli border but don’t include any Israeli concessions.

Hochstein also warned against escalation along the Israel-Lebanon border. “Escalation of violence is in no one’s interest, and there is no such thing as a limited war,” he said. “A temporary ceasefire is not enough. A limited war is not containable.” He said a “diplomatic solution is the only way to end the current hostilities.”

US officials have told CNN that they expect Israel to launch an invasion of southern Lebanon in late spring or early summer if a diplomatic solution is not reached. The officials also said they don’t think Israel would be happy with a deal that only involved Hezbollah withdrawing from the border.

Israel is not expected to be able to handle a full-blown war in Lebanon while continuing the slaughter in Gaza, meaning they would be looking for direct support from the US. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has an interest in provoking a wider regional war as he is facing a political reckoning once the onslaught in Gaza comes to an end.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.