FILE PHOTO: The cardboard cutout of Qasem Soleimani seen at Naqoura, South Lebanon, next to the border with Israel, June 25 2022. REUTERS./

 – Israel said on Thursday that Hezbollah, its Iranian patron and the Beirut government bore “full responsibility” for spiralling violence across the Israel-Lebanon border, and hinted that escalation could be in the works.

“Lebanon and Hezbollah, under the guidance of Iran, bear full responsibility for the deterioration of the security situation in the north,” government spokesperson David Mencer said. “Whether through diplomatic efforts – or otherwise – Israel will restore security on our northern border.”

(Writing by Dan Williams)