US Secretary of State Anthony Brinken is meeting with foreign ministers of five Arab countries in Amman today. Their meeting is being held in the context of the continuation of the Israel-Hamas war in the Gaza Strip. Jordan confirmed the meeting.
In addition to Jordan, the foreign ministers of the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Egypt will participate. Besides, Secretary General of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee Hossein Al-Sheikh will also be present.
Jordan said the conference would aim to “stop the Israeli war on Gaza and provide humanitarian aid to deal with the disaster caused by the attack.”
The Jordanian statement said it was the first Arab ministers meeting with Blinken since the start of the Gaza offensive. They will call for an immediate ceasefire and emergency aid to Gaza.
Hezbollah chief breaks silence on Israel-Hamas war
Lebanon’s Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah broke his weeks-long silence on Friday for the first time since the outbreak of war between Hamas and Israel. In a statement about this war, he said, the aftermath of the Gaza war could affect the region.
Tensions have flared along Lebanon’s southern border, mainly between Israel and Hezbollah, an ally of the Palestinian Hamas group, after Hamas fighters launched an unprecedented attack on Israel from the Gaza Strip on October 7. There is a fear of spreading a terrible border war.
The group said cross-border attacks increased on Thursday as Israel responded with a “wide-scale” strike after Hezbollah jointly targeted 19 Israeli positions.
The Lebanese wing of Hamas’ armed wing claimed it had also fired rockets at the Israeli border town of Kiryat Shmona.
Meanwhile, Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdullahian issued a warning message saying, “The region is like an exploding powder keg and in this case, if Israel does not stop the Gaza aggression, ‘anything is possible’.”
US President Joe Biden sent two aircraft carriers to the eastern Mediterranean to warn Hezbollah and others to stay out of the conflict.
US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters, ‘We have important national security interests here.’
“We have not received any indication so far that Hezbollah is ready to go into this war with all its might. I don’t believe they would do that. So we’ll see what he says.’
According to AFP, more than 70 people have been killed on the Lebanese side in the border fighting. Among them are at least 50 Hezbollah fighters.
Eight Israeli soldiers and one civilian were killed in the fighting, the military said.
Sources: Al Jazeera, Times of Israel, AFP and others