Oct 05, 2022
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An intelligence report produced by the Israel Defense Forces’ Northern command has assessed that there is a reasonable risk of an armed clash between Israel and Hezbollah in the near future, Israeli media reported on Saturday.

Hezbollah has become corrupt, and is losing support as it faces harsh criticism in Lebanon, the report states, according to Channel 12.

The terror organization’s leadership is also losing control over the actions of its armed operatives in the field, the report continues. Following the January 2020 assassination of Iranian Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani in a United States drone strike in Baghdad, Nasrallah has been increasingly isolated, and the Iranian Hezbollah Syria axis has weakened.

In light of the above, Hezbollah is attempting to secure credit for a future Israeli-Lebanese maritime gas deal. However, the report warned that Nasrallah could still seek to exit his “trap” by sparking a war. Whoever replaces Nasrallah will likely be weaker than him but also more dangerous, the report added.

Meanwhile, the U.S. mediator in the Israeli-Lebanese maritime talks, Amos Hochstein, is scheduled to visit Doha, Qatar, and a Qatari firm has expressed readiness to explore gas in Lebanese exclusive economic water, Lebanese television station MTV reported on Friday.

Hochstein concluded a speedy trip to Lebanon on Friday, saying the two sides had made “good progress” in the talks but that “more work needs to be done” to reach an agreement, the UAE-based The National said on Friday.

Hochstein met with Lebanese President Michel Aoun and caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati to discuss the status of the talks.

“I think we’re making good progress,” said Hochstein following his meeting with Lebanon’s president. “I’m very hopeful we can reach an agreement.”

Hochstein was expected to relay the Israeli response to Lebanese conditions for the maritime border on Friday, the report said.