Leaders of Hezbollah and Hamas meet in Lebanon to discuss escalation with Israel
Meeting came after the Israel Police forcibly reopened Al Aqsa Mosque on Tuesday
A delegation led by Hamas leaders Ismail Haniyeh and Saleh Al-Arouri met on Sunday morning with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah in Beirut, according to Lebanese media.
The delegation discussed “the most important developments in occupied Palestine, the course of events at Al Aqsa Mosque, and the escalating resistance in the West Bank and Gaza, in addition to general political developments in the region, the readiness of the Resistance Axis and the cooperation of its parties,” according to a statement released by Hezbollah on Sunday.
Hamas leaders arrived in Lebanon last week to meet with heads of other Palestinian organizations. Haniyeh – senior political leader of Hamas – was expected to make a public appearance in Beirut on Friday. The appearance was reportedly canceled for “security reasons,” following the launch of rockets from Lebanon into Israel on Thursday.
This trip represents Haniyeh’s second trip to Lebanon in less than a year.
Hezbollah announced last week that it will support Palestinians in “all measures they take.”
"Hezbollah proclaims its full solidarity with the Palestinian people and the resistance groups, and pledges that it will stand with them in all measures they take to protect worshippers and the Al-Aqsa mosque and to deter the enemy from continuing its attacks," the statement said.
Hezbollah and Hamas have increasingly cooperated and verbally supported each other against Israel in recent years. Both terrorist organizations are largely dependent on Iran for funding, and some analysts suspect their recent escalations in violence toward Israel as being part of a larger Iranian plot to bring down the Jewish state.
According to the Lebanese Al Mayadeen news network, the rocket attacks from Syria on Saturday night were launched by the Palestinian Al-Quds Brigade militant group, which is also backed by Iran.
While no organization has publicly claimed responsibility for last week’s rocket attacks from Lebanon, Israel blamed Hamas.
“We know for sure it's Palestinian fire,” said Lt.-Col. Richard Hecht on Thursday. “It could be Hamas, it could be Islamic Jihad.”
The IDF responded by attacking Hamas' sites in Lebanon and said they would “not allow the Hamas terrorist organization to operate from within Lebanon and holds the state of Lebanon responsible for every directed fire emanating from its territory.”
Lebanon claimed the retaliatory attacks violated its sovereignty.
“The deliberate Israeli shelling and aggression at dawn today of areas in south Lebanon represent a flagrant violation of Lebanon’s sovereignty and a blatant breach of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701,” the Lebanese Foreign Ministry stated.
Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati on Sunday morning denied Lebanese responsibility for the attacks, saying they were “a response to the Israeli aggression at the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Gaza Strip, and to the violations committed in the Palestinian cities.”
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.