Middle east

Rare Meeting Between Houthis and Hamas to Coordinate Efforts

The Houthis affirmed during the meeting that they will continue their operations in the Red Sea against ships heading to Israel

Palestinian sources reported Friday evening that a rare meeting took place last week between leaders of Hamas and Yemeni Houthi rebels to discuss “mechanisms for coordinating resistance activities” against Israel, as tensions escalate in the Red Sea amid attacks by rebels on maritime navigation.

One of these sources, who requested anonymity, said, “An important meeting was held last week with the participation of senior leaders from Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine with the Houthis,” adding that during this meeting, “mechanisms for coordination between these factions regarding resistance activities in the upcoming phase were discussed.”

According to another source, who also requested anonymity, “the Yemeni pro-Iranian group confirmed during the meeting that it will continue its operations in the Red Sea against ships heading to the enemy (Israel), to support Palestinian resistance,” adding that the meeting also discussed “the complementarity of the role of the Houthis with Palestinian factions, especially with the possibility of an Israeli invasion at Rafah.”

Iran leads what is known as the “axis of resistance,” which includes Palestinian factions such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad, as well as Iraqi factions, in addition to the Yemeni Houthis and the Lebanese Hezbollah.

On Thursday, the leader of the Yemeni rebels, Abdel-Malik al-Houthi, announced the expansion of attacks against ships linked to Israel to include those avoiding passage in the Red Sea and sailing in the Indian Ocean via the Cape of Good Hope, off the southern tip of Africa.

Since November 19, the Houthis have been targeting merchant ships in the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea, claiming they are linked to Israel or heading to its ports. The Houthis justify their attacks in support of the Gaza Strip, which has been at war with Hamas against Israel since October 7.

The Houthis‘ attacks have forced many shipping companies to divert their ships via the Cape of Good Hope, thus extending the journey between Asia and Europe by at least a week and increasing the cost of transportation.

To deter the Houthis and “protect” maritime navigation, US and British forces have been conducting strikes against sites belonging to these rebels in Yemen since January 12. Following these Western strikes, the Houthis have begun targeting American and British ships, considering the interests of these two countries as now “legitimate targets.”

The rebels in Yemen have stated that they will comply with the requirements of the Palestinian resistance factions in order to end the attack on the Gaza Strip.

The United States, the West, and Israel accuse Iran of inciting its proxies to escalate the situation in the region, but Tehran claims that ongoing operations are conducted independently by factions according to their own interests and objectives.

Sources indicated this week that a meeting between the Revolutionary Guards, Hezbollah, the Houthis, and militias in Iraq and Syria was held without the participation of Hamas to discuss American threats.

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