The head of the Hezbollah terror group met with Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror chiefs on Saturday amid heightened tensions between Israel and the Lebanese organization, an Iranian proxy, and Israeli warnings in recent weeks it would target terrorists “everywhere” following several recent deadly terror attacks in the West Bank.
Hassan Nasrallah met with Hamas deputy politburo head Saleh al-Arouri and Ziyad al-Nakhala, secretary general of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group, in Lebanon for a meeting on “the latest political developments, especially with regard to the Palestinians,” Israel’s Channel 13 reported Saturday, citing a joint statement by the terror groups.
“The three made a joint assessment of the situation in the West Bank, regarding the increase in resistance there [against Israel], as well as regarding the latest Israeli threats,” according to the report.
The statement said the groups reiterated their “permanent and firm position” toward the fight “against the Zionist enemy, toward the occupation, and toward the importance of coordination and daily contact between the resistance movements — especially in the Palestinian territories and Lebanon.”
In addition, Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian arrived in Lebanon and also met with Nasrallah, according to the report.
The meetings came almost a week after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that “Hamas and the other Iranian proxies understand very well that we will fight with all means against their attempts to use terrorism against us – in Judea and Samaria, Gaza and everywhere else,” referring to the West Bank and the Palestinian coastal enclave ruled by Hamas. “Whoever tries to hurt us, whoever finances and organizes, whoever dispatches terrorists against Israel, will pay the full price.”
מנהיג חיזבאללה, חסן נסראללה, נפגש עם מנהיג הגי'האד האסלאמי זיאד נח'אלה וסגן מנהיג חמאס סאלח אלעארורי. בהודעה שהפיצה מחלקת ההסברה של ארגון הטרור נמסר כי: "הוצגו ההתפתחויות המדיניות האחרונות ובייחוד בפלסטין ובוצעה הערכת מצב משותפת"@HaimOmri pic.twitter.com/0ljVbFCA6g
— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) September 2, 2023
The prime minister’s stipulation of “everywhere else” and “Iranian proxies” echoed similar remarks he made recently that were taken to mean that Israel’s response to terror attacks could include actions beyond its borders, or in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Netanyahu’s comments came in response to threats of an escalation last weekend by the Lebanon-based al-Arouri, who told a Lebanese news outlet that any Israeli targeted killings of the terror group’s leaders would spark a “regional war.”
At the weekly cabinet meeting last Sunday, Netanyahu said that he had “heard the verbiage by the senior Hamas official Arouri, from his hiding place in Lebanon. He knows very well why he and his colleagues are in hiding.”
There have also been simmering tensions along Israel’s northern border with Lebanon amid a series of actions taken by Hezbollah that Israel sees as provocations.
Last week, the United Nations voted Security Council voted to continue the mandate of its peacekeeping force in the border area, known as UNIFIL.