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The region is on a tightrope, torn between the push for a diplomatic resolution and the prospect of a full-scale regional conflict. In other words, it is a race against the clock and the outcomes are still unclear. In this context, the prevailing outlooks that lean towards the former scenario are based on a series of related and pertinent information.

In his speech marking “Jerusalem Day” last Friday, Hezbollah’s Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah described the Israeli attack on the Iranian consulate in Syria as a “pivotal event.” He expressed his readiness for any war brought on by the enemy and added, “Our main weapons have yet to be used.” However, according to a well-informed diplomat, Nasrallah’s statements point to the fact that the region is moving towards a major settlement rather than a full-fledged war.

The positions voiced by Hezbollah’s Secretary-General pointed to all directions, especially to the US which he squarely blames for all the regional transgressions, including the attack on the Iranian consulate in Syria. Will this attack trigger an open regional conflict? Not according to a number of diplomatic figures who believe that the region embarked on a path towards a comprehensive resolution of the Palestinian issue, while regional and international contacts are ramping up to align with the international timetable set forth in Resolution 2728.

Regarding the southern front, some sources argue that the Israeli Cabinet has not addressed the prospect of a war with Lebanon. So far, no decisions have been made on this issue, as the government is focused on the conflict in Gaza, ending Hamas and implementing its intended plan of action. These sources add that the government refused to abide by Netanyahu’s wish to invade Rafah, due to US and Western pressures, especially after Israel targeted the US-based NGO World Central Kitchen (WCK) in Gaza.

Meanwhile, a Western diplomat asserts that the Gaza war will be the last conflict in the region, paving the way for a final and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian issue. Therefore, Israel is striving for security and stability, a sentiment echoed by anti-war protests in Tel Aviv, where demonstrators raised the slogan, “We no longer want to be shot at.” Therefore, Netanyahu, who is leading a war perceived as Israel’s existential battle, is unlikely to open another front against Lebanon, in line with the decision of the Israeli War Cabinet. If the unfolding Gaza war is meant to be the last regional conflict, Israel will not agree on a ceasefire before reaching an agreement on its own terms. On the other hand, the Palestinians are adamant on reaching a comprehensive resolution to the Palestinian issue before agreeing to any settlement.

This issue is currently the focal point of discussions in Doha and Cairo, alongside other topics related to the post-ceasefire phase, such as the release of prisoners and detainees. According to diplomatic sources, the main obstacle is Netanyahu’s refusal to acknowledge the two-state solution. Meanwhile, there is increasing international pressure to secure recognition of an independent Palestinian state as part of a comprehensive settlement, with further ongoing talks regarding its territorial boundaries. These sources also indicate that multiple solutions, formulations and proposals are being explored to reach a consensus on the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.

Drawing a parallel to the Gaza war as potentially being the last regional strife, sources assert that the Iran-Iraq war – during Khomeini’s era – marked Iran’s last military conflict, as stated by Khomeini himself upon the cessation of hostilities. This underscores Iran’s reluctance to initiate conflicts from its own soil, opting instead to delegate military operations to regional proxies. The ultimate objective is to protect Iran from the repercussions of war, given its economic, social and recent internal challenges, including protests against the regime.

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