Hamas, Hezbollah leaders meet to discuss Israeli ties with Arab world
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Hamas, Hezbollah leaders meet to discuss Israeli ties with Arab world

In Lebanon, Hassan Nasrallah and Ismail Haniyeh, visiting from Gaza, stress the need to maintain an ‘axis of resistance’ against the Jewish state

Illustrative: Members of the Islamic Jihad attend the funeral of 42-year-old Palestinian Mu'in al-Attar, who was killed in an internal explosion at an Islamic Jihad site, in Gaza on September 8, 2019. (Hassan Jedi/Flash90
Illustrative: Members of the Islamic Jihad attend the funeral of 42-year-old Palestinian Mu'in al-Attar, who was killed in an internal explosion at an Islamic Jihad site, in Gaza on September 8, 2019. (Hassan Jedi/Flash90

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Leaders of Lebanon’s Hezbollah and the Hamas terrorist organization, both enemies of Israel, met recently to discuss diplomatic normalization between the Jewish state and Arab countries, a report said Sunday.

They stressed the “stability” of the “axis of resistance” against Israel, the Hezbollah-run Al-Manar TV channel reported, without saying where or when the meeting took place.

Hassan Nasrallah, head of the Iran-backed Shiite Hezbollah terror movement, was seen meeting Ismail Haniyeh, who heads the political bureau of Hamas, the terror group that controls the Gaza Strip.

Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah.(AP Photo/Hussein Malla, File)

They discussed “political and military developments in Palestine, Lebanon, and the region” and “the dangers to the Palestinian cause,” which include Arab plans for normalization with Israel, Al-Manar reported.

The meeting comes after an August 13 announcement that the Jewish state and the United Arab Emirates have agreed to normalize ties.

While the US-backed diplomatic drive aims to boost a regional alliance against Iran, Palestinians have condemned it as a “stab in the back” as they remain under Israeli control and don’t have their own state.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said Israel is in talks with other Arab and Muslim leaders now about normalizing relations, following the deals with UAE and, decades ago, Egypt and Jordan.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh attends a meeting with foreign reporters at al-Mat’haf hotel in Gaza City, June 20, 2019. (AP Photo/ Adel Hana)

Haniyeh has been in Lebanon since Wednesday, on his first visit to the country in nearly 30 years, for direct and video-conference talks with other Palestinian groups that oppose Israel’s diplomatic initiative.

Israel’s military has in recent weeks targeted Hamas in the Gaza Strip in response to the organization sending balloons carrying flammable or explosive devices into Israel every day, lighting blazes throughout the region.

Israel and Hezbollah gunmen have also exchanged fire in recent weeks after the organization attempted a number of infiltrations along Israel’s northern border with Lebanon.

Israel also regularly launches airstrikes in war-torn Syria against what it says are Hezbollah and other pro-Iranian militants fighting on the side of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

Nasrallah has been living in a secret location for years and makes very few public appearances. He said in 2014 that he often changes his place of residence.

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