On his fifth visit to Israel since the start of the war on October 7, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has sought to ensure that Israeli fire is more targeted in the Gaza Strip and does not spread into the northern front, which has been ignited beyond the theoretically limited levels of the last three months, when the Lebanese Hezbollah militia decided to provide troops, missiles and drones to support the Palestinian group in the face of the common enemy’s offensive.

After Israel confirmed that its operation against Hamas is moving to the third and less massive phase in northern Gaza, as requested by the Biden Administration, in contrast to what is happening in Khan Yunis, Blinken’s most urgent mission in his meetings with Israeli and Arab leaders is to avoid a large-scale confrontation between the Tsahal and the most powerful armed group in the region.

While Blinken spoke with President Isaac Herzog and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, about 200 kilometers away, Israel and Hezbollah spoke with drones. Hassan Nasrallah’s group claimed responsibility for launching these devices against the main military base in the Safed area in a symbolic attack (it caused material damage) and pointed out that it was the response to the death of the commander of the Radwan Force, Wissam Al. -Tawil, in an Israeli airstrike in southern Lebanon.

If the selective assassination of Hamas number two, Saleh Arouri, exactly a week ago in his fiefdom in Beirut, was a blow to his pride and a blow to his red line, that of Tawil this Monday is a severe operational setback. Near his funeral and shortly before being buried under shouts announcing “the road to Jerusalem”, an Israeli drone killed the head of Hezbollah’s air infrastructure, Ali Hussien Barji.

Tel Aviv held him responsible for the drone attacks, including the one that took place two hours before his death yesterday.

Hezbollah’s number two, Naim Qassem, warned that “the assassinations of commanders cannot achieve Israel’s objectives, quite the opposite. The bloodshed and obedience to this spirit of faith is much greater than expected.”

This is an increase in attacks in southern Lebanon but, on the other hand, for less than what Hezbollah has done since October 8, Israel retaliated with a war in 2006. Now it does not do so because it hopes that the diplomatically moves pro-Iranian forces away from the border and because it focuses its resources on Hamas.

In his meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu, Blinken asked him for greater efforts to prevent the death of civilians in the Gaza Strip, whose number he said is too high, and that Gazans displaced to the South can soon return to the North after the announced dismantlement of Hamas’s armed infrastructure in that area. As he revealed in Tel Aviv, Israel accepted that the UN carry out an “assessment mission” to begin the process that allows displaced Palestinians to return to their homes.

Blinken’s arrival coincided with the Israeli announcement of the death of nine soldiers – raising the number to 182 since the beginning of the incursion – and dozens of Hamas militiamen in central and southern Gaza on the last day in which, According to the Ministry of Health in the Palestinian enclave, at least 126 people died in the Israeli attacks.

The US shares with its main regional ally the objective of ending the armed wing of Hamas and its control in Gaza (“we must prevent another 7-O from happening”), but the differences, especially regarding the day after, tighten the rope with the current Israeli Government.

Not only in the day after (whether or not the Palestinian Authority returns to Gaza), but beyond (the creation of a Palestinian State). Blinken reiterated his opposition to any proposal, as proposed by two far-right ministers, to encourage the voluntary departure of Gazans and declared that Netanyahu reaffirmed that it is not Israel’s official position.

In his meeting with the families of the kidnapped Israelis with American nationality held by Hamas since October 7, he expressed solidarity with their suffering after also doing so with that of the population in the Gaza Strip after 95 days of bombs.