Al Joumhouria” News Summary”
Al Joumhouria” News Summary”
Thursday, 20-Jun-2024 23:16

Escalation on the southern front is intensifying, while communications have been active following threats by Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah to Cyprus.

Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati received a call from British Foreign Secretary David Cameron, during which they discussed bilateral relations and the situation in Lebanon and the region. Cameron expressed "his country's readiness to undertake any contacts and efforts to alleviate tensions."

In turn, Foreign Minister Abdullah Bou Habib of the caretaker government contacted Cypriot Foreign Minister Konstantinos Kombos and expressed Lebanon's "constant reliance on Cyprus's positive role in supporting regional stability." The Cypriot minister reaffirmed "the statement issued by the President of Cyprus yesterday, expressing his country's hope to be part of the solution, not part of the problem." He emphasized that "Cyprus has no intention of getting involved in the ongoing conflict in any way." He also clarified that "the decision to close the Cypriot embassy for one day was pre-determined for administrative reasons related to visa systems, and it will resume normal operations tomorrow."

Both ministers affirmed "the deep friendship between the two countries and the importance of enhancing bilateral cooperation for the benefit of their peoples."

Regionally, Israeli Energy Minister threatened Lebanon, stating that if electricity is cut off in Israel for hours, it will be cut off in Lebanon for months.

During a visit, Israeli Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir noted that "residents of the north cannot return to their homes safely unless we resort to military force."

Additionally, American officials reported that Israel informed Washington of its plans to transfer weapons from southern Gaza to northern Israel in preparation for a war with Hezbollah, according to CNN. The network also reported that Israel informed Washington of its readiness for a ground incursion and air attack on Lebanon.

American officials stated that Washington has not informed Israel of its opposition to launching a war on Hezbollah.

Commenting on the severe criticism he faced from the United States, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he is "ready to receive any personal criticism in exchange for the ammunition Israel needs from the United States."

Meanwhile, the head of the political bureau of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, met with Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri Kani in Doha. Haniyeh informed Bagheri that "Israel has failed to achieve its goals in its war on Gaza." He called for using all legal, political, and diplomatic means to fight Israel, alongside armed resistance.

Internationally, Cyprus asserted that it "will not allow any country to use its territory for military operations and is not involved in any conflicts."

Separately, the White House directed unprecedented harsh criticism at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over his remarks about the delay in U.S. arms shipments to Israel. It considered Netanyahu's statements this week about the delay in delivering American weapons shipments to Israel "insulting and deeply disappointing, given the amount of support we provide and will continue to provide."

On another front, European Union countries have agreed to impose a new "strong and significant" set of sanctions on Russia to tighten the noose on Russia’s war effort against Ukraine, according to Belgium, which holds the EU presidency.

Meanwhile, Moscow claimed that "Washington will abandon Zelensky in favor of a more suitable candidate."

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia is considering possible amendments to its doctrine on the use of nuclear weapons. He confirmed that "Moscow does not need to launch a preemptive nuclear strike," noting that Russian nuclear forces are always on combat alert.

Economically, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that crude oil, gasoline, and distillate inventories in the United States decreased in the week ending June 14.