Ibrahim says Hezbollah doesn't want wider war, warns of inadvertent escalation


Former top Lebanese security official Abbas Ibrahim who has served as a conduit between the United States and Hezbollah has said that at this stage the Lebanese militant group is not interested in widening its limited cross-border conflict with Israel.

Ibrahim, the former head of Lebanon’s General Security, said that as long as Hamas is able to confront the Israeli army in the Gaza Strip, “the situation will remain at the current level of tension” on the Lebanese front.

Hezbollah and Israeli forces have regularly exchanged missiles and shelling but have largely avoided killing civilians or taking other actions that would provoke a major response from the other side.

However, the situation could escalate inadvertently, he said. “If we continue with this degree of tension it will certainly lead to bad calculations and a war will happen.”

Ibrahim said that U.S. officials had passed messages through him to Hezbollah urging it “not to drag Lebanon into this war,” including during a visit to Beirut last week by Amos Hochstein, a senior adviser to U.S. President Joe Biden.

Hezbollah has not sent messages of its own to the U.S. in response, Ibrahim said.

Since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war six weeks ago, Ibrahim has also been involved in talks on evacuating dual nationals from Gaza and on the issue of emergency humanitarian truces and the exchange of civilian hostages held in Gaza for Palestinian prisoners in Israel.