Israel warns Hezbollah of ‘all-out war’ as US tries to de-escalate Lebanon border tensions

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz warned on Tuesday that a decision on an all-out war with Hezbollah was coming soon, even as the United States tries to avert any escalation.

U.S. envoy Amos Hochstein was sent to Lebanon to try and cool tensions following an increase in cross-border fire along Lebanon's southern frontier that has escalated to Hezbollah hinting it could attack Haifa, Israel's third-largest city.

Iran-backed Hezbollah has been trading fire with Israel for the last eight months in parallel with the Gaza war. Last week, the group fired the largest volleys of rockets and drones of the hostilities so far at Israeli military sites, after an Israeli strike killed the most senior commander yet.

Katz said in an X post that in the wake of threats by Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the group's head, to damage Haifa's ports that are operated by Chinese and Indian companies, "we are getting very close to the moment of deciding on changing the rules of the game against Hezbollah and Lebanon".

"In an all-out war, Hezbollah will be destroyed and Lebanon will be severely beaten," he added.

Israel's military later said "operational plans for an offensive in Lebanon were approved and validated, and decisions were taken on the continuation of increasing the readiness of troops in the field".

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