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Haniyeh to meet Nasrallah in Beirut as Israel escalates tension with Lebanon and Gaza

June 21, 2022 at 2:56 pm

Hamas political chief Ismail Haniyeh on 6 August 2021 [Iranian Presidency / Handout/Anadolu Agency]

The head of the Political Bureau of the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement is due to arrive in Beirut today with a Hamas delegation.

Ismail Haniyeh is scheduled to meet with President Michel Aoun, Prime Minister Najib Mikati and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri. It is likely that the Hamas delegation will also meet the Secretary-General of Hezbollah, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah.

The visit of the delegation to Beirut coincides with a high level of tension between the Lebanese resistance movement and Israel, against the backdrop of Israel beginning to take gas from what are alleged to be Lebanese territorial waters. Nasrallah has threatened to target the ship working for Israel in the Mediterranean.

At the same time, tension is increasing between Israel and the resistance factions in Gaza, especially after continued Israeli violations in occupied Jerusalem, with police protecting illegal settlers storming Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the bombing of Palestinian resistance sites in Gaza a few days ago. The latter followed the downing of an Israeli surveillance balloon by Palestinians.

Haniyeh’s visit to Beirut may be within the context of coordination between Hamas and Hezbollah to face the threats arising from the Israeli escalation. This requires setting a common vision and coordinating military and security action between the resistance groups. Several reports have mentioned a joint military command and operations room that was established by the resistance axis to confront Israeli aggression.

READ: Hamas ready to end internal division, reiterates Haniyeh

This was activated during the Sword of Jerusalem Battle in May last year, and it included leaders from Hezbollah and Iran’s Islamic Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, alongside the Palestinian resistance leadership in Gaza.

Yesterday, Haniyeh called for adopting four important variables, which he said must be dealt with to build a Palestinian strategic vision. This came in a video speech at a conference organised by the Ummah University in Gaza.

In his speech, Haniyeh stressed the readiness of Hamas to unite and overcome the internal division, “even if this requires building a Palestinian national front that protects the principles, fosters the resistance, and forms a reference on the path to rebuilding the PLO if general unity falters.” He pointed out that “the first variables on the Palestinian level are the results of the Sword of Jerusalem Battle.” He added that this was “a qualitative leap and a strategic shift in the management of the conflict with the Israeli enemy.”