World cannot allow Lebanon to become ‘another Gaza’, UN chief Guterres says


Photo: Smoke billows during Israeli bombardment on the village of Khiam in south Lebanon near the border with Israel on June 19, 2024.  © Rabih Daher, AFP

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned Friday that fighting between Israel and Hezbollah must not turn Lebanon into “another Gaza”, citing “bellicose rhetoric” and the exchange of fire in parallel with the fighting in the Gaza Strip, potentially triggering a wider regional war.


  • The “pause” the Israeli military had declared in Gaza to facilitate aid flows has not improved the flow of humanitarian aid, the UN’s health agency said on Friday.
  • Armenia has officially recognized a Palestinian state, the Armenian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday, defying Israel which is opposed to such moves
  • Israel and Hezbollah traded fresh cross-border fire late Thursday, as fears of a regional conflict grew after Israel revealed it had approved plans for a Lebanon offensive and Lebanon’s powerful Hezbollah movement said none of Israel would be spared in a full-blown conflict..
  • At least 37,431 Palestinians have been killed and 85,
  • 653 injured in Israel’s war in Gaza, according to the health ministry in the Hamas-run enclave. Some 1,139 people were killed in the Hamas-led October 7 attacks and 250 people were taken hostage, with about 120 remaining in Gaza, according to Israeli tallies. Many have been declared dead by Israeli authorities.
  • Hezbollah militants in Lebanon can fire 3,000 missiles a day, US officials warn as fears grow that the conflict will escalate.
  •  Thousands of fighters from Iran-backed groups in the Middle East are ready to come to Lebanon to join the militant Hezbollah group in its battle with Israel if the simmering conflict escalates into a full-blown war, officials with Iran-backed factions and analysts say.
  • Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant is set to arrive in Washington on Sunday for meetings with U.S. officials, as the threat of a war between Israel and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah continues to escalate.
  • Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile batteries risk being overwhelmed in the opening strikes of any significantly escalated conflict with Hezbollah, according to US officials. This assessment comes amid fears that a war with Hezbollah could be a far more dangerous undertaking than the devastating 2006 Second Lebanon war when Israeli bombing caused huge destruction in Lebanon.
  • The US and France are leading diplomatic efforts to avert a wider conflict between Israel and Hezbollah, amid fears that escalating rhetoric and exchanges of fire across the border could lead to full-scale war.
  • On Friday, Kuwait’s foreign ministry warned its citizens to avoid traveling to Lebanon and urged those already in the country to leave.
  • The Biden administration told an Israeli delegation in Washington that America would offer security assistance in the event of a wider conflict.
  • Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah threatened to ‘return Israel to Stone Age’ if it attacks Lebanon. A Hezbollah video that was broadcast Saturday evening shows vital and strategic points through which Nasrallah, indicated that if these goals were targeted, they would be enough to return Israel to the “stone age.”
  • Iran says Hezbollah is capable of defending itself and Lebanon, warning Israel that it would be the “ultimate loser” in an all-out war with the Lebanese armed group.

France 24/ News agencies