Middle east

Nasrallah and Hamas Meeting: An Indication of Support and Escalation or an Attempt at Calm?

A meeting that carries within it more escalation in the region, as the Secretary General of the Lebanese Hezbollah meets with a delegation from Hamas to consult on the current escalation in the region in light of the approaching war between Israel and Hezbollah, and Hamas‘ announcement of agreeing to the American proposal which includes the release of hostages held by Hamas in exchange for a ceasefire for several weeks.

The meeting was important given the convergence of views between the Iran-backed party and Hamas, which currently governs the collapsing Gaza Strip. Several issues were discussed, particularly the two possible paths of either calming or escalating the situation amidst global fears of major strikes between Hezbollah and Israel.

Hezbollah and Hamas Meeting

Hezbollah militia leader Hassan Nasrallah met with a Hamas delegation to discuss the war in Gaza and consult on Hamas‘ response to the American proposal for a ceasefire and a deal with Israel. Following the meeting, Hezbollah issued a statement praising Hamas‘ acceptance of the proposal and welcoming its response, considering it as “fulfillment of the Palestinian people’s rights and protection for them.”

Both parties confirmed “the continuation of field and political coordination at all levels to achieve the desired goals.” Since October 7, Nasrallah has been involved in the war, justifying it as “support” for Gaza and part of the unity of fronts equation bringing together Tehran’s allies in the region.

Important Implications of the Meeting

The timing and content of the meeting carry notable indications as it comes hours before the resumption of negotiations between Israel and Hamas for a ceasefire in Gaza according to the initiative of U.S. President Joe Biden. Hezbollah clarified that the meeting was part of the coordination between all “Palestinian resistance movements,” whether Hamas, Islamic Jihad, or other groups currently fighting in Gaza. The discussions included issues concerning all resistance factions, including the ceasefire talks in Gaza, closely related to the situation on the Lebanese front.

Activist Abdel Shomeri said, “The Iranian Hamas has completed its mission in Gaza to provide a pretext for the Israelis to enter Gaza and cleanse it of Sunni Muslims. The next mission for Hezbollah in southern Lebanon is imminent, and they will find a pretext to enter southern Lebanon and cleanse its inhabitants as they did in Gaza.”

Shomeri added that the Palestinian resistance and Hamas are all Iranian puppets, and Iran serves Israel’s interests.

Lebanese political analyst Tarek Abu Zaynab confirmed that the ceasefire and the agreement to stop the war on the Gaza and Lebanon fronts are clear, and all parties agree. The implementation of Resolution 1701 means pushing Hezbollah forces and all armed militias, including the Dawn Forces, Islamic Jihad, and others, behind the Litani River, 18 kilometers away, with heavy weapons and short-range missiles kept, contrary to what some are proposing about disarming Hezbollah in southern Lebanon and withdrawing the Radwan forces 10 km from the border.

Abu Zaynab added that Hamas informed Hezbollah of its agreement to a ceasefire in Gaza, and Nasrallah welcomed the ceasefire.

Political analyst Tony Habib commented on the meeting, saying, “Hamas seeks, by involving the Lebanese Hezbollah, to send counter-military messages if the truce is accepted to maintain American coordination, and that the movement will not be alone but will also receive support from Hezbollah and Iran.”

Habib added that the meeting is part of military protocols in Lebanon, especially since Hezbollah leads the military operations and provides logistical support to Hamas fighters in southern Lebanon. Hamas wanted to offer a ladder to climb down, as the tension on the northern front is unprecedented since the 2006 war, and it has taken a dangerous turn that could lead to a full-scale war.

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