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October 4, 2022 1:25 pm
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Chances of Hezbollah War ‘Still Remain Very High’: US Envoy

avatar by i24 News

London-based Energean’s drill ship begins drilling at the Karish natural gas field offshore Israel in the east Mediterranean May 9, 2022. REUTERS/Ari Rabinovitch

i24 NewsFormer US assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs David Schenker told i24NEWS that the chances of an Israeli-Hezbollah confrontation “still remain very high” despite the advancement of a US-brokered maritime border agreement between Israel and Lebanon.

The proposal “does nothing to lower or alleviate tensions along the blue line where Hezbollah is digging in,” Schenker said in an interview with i24NEWS senior US political correspondent Mike Wagenheim that aired Tuesday.

The New Jersey native served in the position during the administration of former US president Donald Trump from 2019 to 2021, during which he was assigned as the point man on the Israel-Lebanon maritime border negotiations.

The current draft proposal was formed under the mediation of the State Department’s senior advisor for energy security, Amos Hochstein.

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Schenker said that it appeared that Israel agreed to give the Lebanese “100 percent” of what they wanted, while pointing out that the Qana gas field that would be under control of Lebanon contains “very little reserves.”

He said that the administration of US President Joe Biden can claim a foreign policy win with the deal and a success in promoting regional stability, while cautioning that questions still remain about long-term calm.

“I think the United States, even the Biden administration, is doing this out of a desire to help stabilize the region, although it is unclear if it will be the outcome.”

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