As Operation Protection Edge continues into its fourth week, Hamas has asked Hezbollah to join the fight against Israel.
Moussa Abu Marzouk, the Cairo-based deputy head of Hamas’s political bureau, told Russian news agency RIA Novosti, “We hope the Lebanese front will open and together we will fight against this formation [Israel],” The Daily Star reported.
“There’s no arguing that Lebanese resistance could mean a lot,” he declared.
Since the outset of Operation Protective on July 8, several rockets have been fired upon northern Israel from Lebanon, though Palestinian groups, not Hezbollah, have been suspected in those cases.
On Wednesday morning, an IDF patrol was fired upon in the northern Galilee.
While there have been no injuries or damage incurred from these incidents, the IDF, the Lebanese Army and UN peacekeeping troops have all increased their presence along the Israel-Lebanon border.
Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah has vowed that his party will stand by Hamas and all of Gaza.
In his first remarks on the fighting that erupted on July 8 as Israel launched a campaign to stem rocket fire from Gaza upon Israe’s towns and locate and destroy cross-border attack tunnels, Nasrallah warned Israel on Friday that its efforts to wage war in the Gaza Strip would falter.
“Ehud Barak said that in any possible war between Israel and Gaza, it would be quick and decisive and the victory would be clear,” Nasrallah said, referring to Israel’s former prime minister and defense minister, “but Gaza today says to them — you are cowards that murder children, and if you face our heroes face to face, you and your army will fall.”
Nasrallah’s speech was reported to be a rare public appearance before a crowd of supporters, though TV footage which only showed the Hezbollah leader alone in extreme close-up made the claim dubious. The speech was given to mark “Al-Quds Day,” a day of solidarity with Palestinians that Arabs traditionally observe on the last Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Al-Quds is Arabic for Jerusalem.
Hezbollah, a Shiite group, has long been one of the closest allies of Hamas, the main Palestinian Sunni faction which controls Gaza. Both terror groups are backed by Iran.
AP and Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.