Will the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah escalate?

Tensions between Israel and the Lebanese Islamist Hezbollah militia have increased after the Israeli army announced it had authorised plans for a possible intervention in Lebanon. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah threatened Cyprus would become "part of the war" if Cypriot harbours and airports were used for attacks - a scenario which Nicosia immediately ruled out. Europe's press analyses the developments.

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Liberal (GR) /

Nasrallah threatening Europe

The threats are directed at the whole of Europe, the news website Liberal puts in:

“This is the first time that Nasrallah has threatened Cyprus, which lies around 125 miles off the Lebanese coast. And a possible attack on Cyprus would mean that the European Union itself would become involved in the war in the Middle East. In short, Nasrallah is threatening Europe. ... In Nicosia, the Cypriot government is on high alert, with President Nikos Christodoulidis stressing that the Republic of Cyprus is not involved in any way in military conflicts.”

Cyprus Mail (CY) /

May cooler heads prevail

Cyprus Mail points to the good relations between Nicosia and Beirut:

“Nasrallah may not necessarily believe that Cyprus would ever allow Israel to attack Lebanon through the island's ports and airports. The notion is inconceivable. Perhaps it was said as a means to pressure Europe. ... Nasrallah can't not be aware that Cyprus hosted thousands of Lebanese refugees during the 70s and 80s, many of whom made their home here. It also temporarily harboured thousands more during Israel's last major clash with Hezbollah within Lebanon in 2006. ... So, while Nasrallah's threat should not be dismissed lightly, we can only hope that cooler heads prevail.”

Financial Times (GB) /

Israel can't win this war either

The Financial Times warns:

“Previous Israeli wars in Lebanon have failed to tame or weaken Hizbollah - in 2006 Israel suffered a bloody nose in a month-long war with the militant group. Moreover, after eight months of devastating conflict in Gaza, Israel has yet to achieve Netanyahu's key goals. ... Hamas's fighting capability has been severely depleted. But even senior Israeli military figures now acknowledge that it is impossible to destroy Hamas, citing its militant ideology and roots in Palestinian society. Hizbollah presents a far more daunting foe: it is the world's most heavily armed non-state actor.”

Kristeligt Dagblad (DK) /

Ceasefire in Gaza is all the more urgent

Kristeligt Dagblad hopes for de-escalation in the region:

“With up to 100,000 armed men, Hezbollah has become a state within a state in Lebanon. ... This was only possible because Hezbollah, as an extremely willing proxy of Iran, received leadership, money and weapons from its religious brothers in Tehran. The US has been working for months to reach an agreement between Israel and Hamas on a permanent ceasefire in Gaza. In view of the new large-scale war threatening the region, a peace agreement there would be extremely welcome. Neither in the Middle East nor in the rest of the world does humanity need another conflict that entails unmanageable risks for everyone.”