Home west asia Hopes Riding High On Cairo Peace Talks Even As Israel Strikes At...

Hopes Riding High On Cairo Peace Talks Even As Israel Strikes At Hezbollah In Lebanon


Ahead of talks in Cairo on a possible ceasefire in Gaza, to which Hamas is sending negotiators while Israel is yet to make up its mind, Tel Aviv carried out air strikes on what it claimed was Hezbollah military infrastructure in the eastern Lebanese city of Baalbek. The strike followed the downing of an Israeli Hermes 900 drone by Hezbollah.

It was not clear if the talks in Cairo on a possible ceasefire would get undermined by Israel’s air strikes.

Reuters reports that Hezbollah has been trading fire with Israel across Lebanon’s southern border since Oct. 8, a day after the Palestinian group Hamas launched an attack on Israel that sparked Israel’s war in Gaza and led to escalating regional tensions.

Israeli shelling has killed around 270 Hezbollah fighters and around 50 civilians. In southern Lebanon some 90,000 people have also been displaced, while more than 96,000 Israelis have been displaced from the country’s northern border area. Two security sources said the latest Israeli attack on Lebanon targeted a training camp belonging to Hezbollah in Janta village near the border with Syria and the town of Safri near Baalbek. There were no reported casualties from the strikes, the sources said.

Nitin A Gokhale WhatsApp Channel

The U.S. and other countries have sought a diplomatic resolution to the exchanges of fire between Hezbollah and Israel. Hezbollah said it would not halt fire before a ceasefire is implemented in Gaza. Hopes riding high on the Cairo meeting providing a solution that apart from a ceasefire, would include the return of displaced Palestinians to the northern Gaza Strip and for Israeli troops to withdraw from the besieged enclave.

Hamas official Basem Naim was quoted by Al Jazeera as saying that the talks would cover the release of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel in an exchange deal. The Israeli war cabinet is expected to meet today to discuss expanding the negotiating team’s mandate. The Israeli government is under mounting pressure from the public to ensure the safe return of the remaining hostages held by Hamas in Gaza.

With inputs from Reuters