Hezbollah Says Gaza Ceasefire Needed To End Conflict on Israel-Lebanon Border

Israel has previously threatened that a ceasefire in Gaza would mean it will escalate in Lebanon

The deputy leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah reiterated on Tuesday that attacks on northern Israel would only end if there was a ceasefire in Gaza.

“If there is a ceasefire in Gaza, we will stop without any discussion,” Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem told The Associated Press.

Qassem said that if Israeli military operations in Gaza wind down without a formal ceasefire or Israeli withdrawal, it’s unclear what Hezbollah would do. “If what happens in Gaza is a mix between ceasefire and no ceasefire, war and no war, we can’t answer (how we would react) now, because we don’t know its shape, its results, its impacts,” he said.

The comments come as tensions on the Israel-Lebanon border are soaring, and Israeli officials are increasing threats about a potential invasion. It’s unclear if a ceasefire in Gaza would de-escalate the situation, as Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said earlier this year that a truce in Gaza would mean escalation in Lebanon.

Qassem said he doesn’t believe Israel has the ability to launch a full-scale assault on Lebanon at the moment and warned a limited incursion could result in a major regional escalation.

“Israel can decide what it wants: limited war, total war, partial war,” he said. “But it should expect that our response and our resistance will not be within a ceiling and rules of engagement set by Israel… If Israel wages the war, it means it doesn’t control its extent or who enters into it.”

According to a tally from AFP, Israeli strikes on Lebanon since October 7 have killed 493 people, including 95 civilians. On the Israeli side of the border, at least 15 soldiers and 11 civilians have been killed by Hezbollah fire.

Author: Dave DeCamp

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