'Miscalculation' could lead to wider Hezbollah-Israel conflict, say UN officials

June 15, 2024 2:53 PM EDT

FILE PHOTO: Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, when Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), attends a conference about al-Hol camp in Syria where families of Islamic State militants members live

BEIRUT (Reuters) - There is a "very real" risk that a miscalculation along Lebanon's southern border could trigger a wider conflict between Hezbollah and the Israeli military, two U.N. officials in Lebanon warned on Saturday.

The United Nations special coordinator for Lebanon, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, and the head of U.N. peacekeeping forces in Lebanon, Aroldo Lazaro, said they were "deeply concerned" about the recent escalation along Lebanon's border.

Iran-backed Hezbollah last week launched the largest volleys of rockets and drones yet in the eight months it has been exchanging fire with the Israeli military, in parallel with the Gaza war.

"The danger of miscalculation leading to a sudden and wider conflict is very real," the two officials said in a written statement on Saturday.

The United States and France are working on a negotiated settlement to the hostilities along Lebanon's southern border. Hezbollah says it will not halt fire unless Israel's military offensive on Gaza stops.

(Reporting by Maya Gebeily; Editing by Mark Potter)

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